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Continuous hydrolysis of 4-cyanopyridine by nitrilases from Fusarium solani O1 and Aspergillus niger K10


The operational stabilities of nitrilases from Aspergillus niger K10 and Fusarium solani O1 were examined with 4-cyanopyridine as the substrate in continuous-stirred membrane reactors (CSMRs). The former enzyme was fairly stable at 30 °C with a deactivation constant (k d) and enzyme half-life of 0.014 h−1 and 50 h, respectively, but the latter exhibited an even higher stability characterized by k d = 0.008 h−1 and half-life of 87 h at 40 °C. Another advantage of this enzyme was its high chemoselectivity, i.e., selective transformation of nitriles into carboxylic acids, while the amide formed a high ratio of A. niger K10 nitrilase product. High conversion rates (>90%) were maintained for about 52 h using the nitrilase from F. solani O1 immobilized in cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs). The purity of isonicotinic acid was increased from 98% to >99.9% by using two CSMRs connected in series, the first one containing the F. solani O1 nitrilase and the second the amidase from Rhodococcus erythropolis A4 (both enzymes as CLEAs), the amidase hydrolyzing the by-product isonicotinamide.

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Financial support via projects IAA500200708 (Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic), LC06010 (Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic), COST/ESF CM0701, OC09046, FT-TA5/043 (Ministry of Education and Trade of the Czech Republic), 305/09/H008 (Czech Science Foundation), the institutional research concept AV0Z50200510 (Institute of Microbiology) and the LLP-Erasmus Fellowship to A. Malandra are gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Ludmila Martínková.

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Malandra, A., Cantarella, M., Kaplan, O. et al. Continuous hydrolysis of 4-cyanopyridine by nitrilases from Fusarium solani O1 and Aspergillus niger K10. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 85, 277–284 (2009).

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  • Nitrilase
  • Aspergillus niger
  • Fusarium solani
  • Cyanopyridines
  • Continuous-stirred membrane reactors
  • Cross-linked enzyme aggregates