Authors Obst, F. ; Mertz, M. ; Mehner, P. J. ; Beck, A. ; Castiglione, K. ; Richter, A. ; Voit, B. ; Appelhans, D.
Title Enzymatic synthesis of sialic acids in microfluidics to overcome cross-inhibitions and substrate supply limitations
Date 06.10.2021
Number 59489
Abstract Multienzymatic cascade reactions are a powerful strategy for straightforward and highly specific synthesis of complex materials, such as active substances in drugs. Cross-inhibitions and incompatible reaction steps, however, often limit enzymatic activity and thus the conversion. Such limitations occur, e.g., in the enzymatic synthesis of the biologically active sialic acid cytidine monophosphate N-acetylneuraminic acid (CMP-Neu5Ac). We addressed this challenge by developing a confinement and compartmentalization concept of hydrogel-immobilized enzymes for improving the efficiency of the enzyme cascade reaction. The three enzymes required for the synthesis of CMP-Neu5Ac, namely, N-acyl-d-glucosamine 2-epimerase (AGE), N-acetylneuraminate lyase (NAL), and CMP-sialic acid synthetase (CSS), were immobilized into bulk hydrogels and microstructured hydrogel–enzyme-dot arrays, which were then integrated into microfluidic devices. To overcome the cytidine triphosphate (CTP) cross-inhibition of AGE and NAL, only a low CTP concentration was applied and continuously conveyed through the device. In a second approach, the enzymes were compartmentalized in separate reaction chambers of the microfluidic device to completely avoid cross-inhibitions and enable the use of higher substrate concentrations. Immobilization efficiencies of up to 25% and pronounced long-term activity of the immobilized enzymes for several weeks were realized. Moreover, immobilized enzymes were less sensitive to inhibition and the substrate-channeling effect between immobilized enzymes promoted the overall conversion in the trienzymatic cascade reaction. Based on this, CMP-Neu5Ac was successfully synthesized by immobilized enzymes in noncompartmentalized and compartmentalized microfluidic devices. This study demonstrates the high potential of immobilizing enzymes in (compartmentalized) microfluidic devices to perform multienzymatic cascade reactions despite cross-inhibitions under continuous flow conditions. Due to the ease of enzyme immobilization in hydrogels, this concept is likely applicable for many cascade reactions with or without cross-inhibition characteristics.
Publisher ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Wikidata Q110208549
Citation ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 13 (2021) 49433-49444

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