, Volume 83, Issue 5, pp 859-864
Date: 14 Mar 2009

Efficient synthesis of enantiomeric ethyl lactate by Candida antarctica lipase B (CALB)-displaying yeasts

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The whole-cell biocatalyst displaying Candida antarctica lipase B (CALB) on the yeast cell surface with α-agglutinin as the anchor protein was easy to handle and possessed high stability. The lyophilized CALB-displaying yeasts showed their original hydrolytic activity and were applied to an ester synthesis using ethanol and l-lactic acid as substrates. In water-saturated heptane, CALB-displaying yeasts catalyzed ethyl lactate synthesis. The synthesis efficiency increased depending on temperature and reached approximately 74% at 50°C. The amount of l-ethyl lactate increased gradually. l-Ethyl lactate synthesis stopped at 200 h and restarted after adding of l-lactic acid at 253 h. It indicated that CALB-displaying yeasts retained their synthetic activity under such reaction conditions. In addition, CALB-displaying yeasts were able to recognize l-lactic acid and d-lactic acid as substrates. l-Ethyl lactate was prepared from l-lactic acid and d-ethyl lactate was prepared from d-lactic acid using the same CALB-displaying whole-cell biocatalyst. These findings suggest that CALB-displaying yeasts can supply the enantiomeric lactic esters for preparation of useful and improved biopolymers of lactic acid.