Enzyme Toolbox: Novel Enantiocomplementary Imine Reductases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • P.N. Scheller
  • S. Fademrecht
  • S. Hofelzer
  • J. Pleiss
  • Friedemann Leipold
  • Bettina Nestl
  • B Hauer


Reducing reactions are among the most useful transformations for the generation of chiral compounds in the fine-chemical industry. Because of their exquisite selectivities, enzymatic approaches have emerged as the method of choice for the reduction of C[DOUBLE BOND]O and activated C[DOUBLE BOND]C bonds. However, stereoselective enzymatic reduction of C[DOUBLE BOND]N bonds is still in its infancy—it was only recently described after the discovery of enzymes capable of imine reduction. In our work, we increased the spectrum of imine-reducing enzymes by database analysis. By combining the currently available knowledge about the function of imine reductases with the experimentally uncharacterized diversity stored in protein sequence databases, three novel imine reductases with complementary enantiopreference were identified along with amino acids important for catalysis. Furthermore, their reducing capability was demonstrated by the reduction of the pharmaceutically relevant prochiral imine 2-methylpyrroline. These novel enzymes exhibited comparable to higher catalytic efficiencies than previously described enzymes, and their biosynthetic potential is highlighted by the full conversion of 2-methylpyrroline in whole cells with excellent selectivities.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2201-2204
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2014