Enantioselective synthesis of (S)-2-cyano-2-methylpentanoic acid by nitrilase
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The nitrilase gene of Rhodococcus rhodochrous J1 was expressed in Escherichia coli using the expression vector, pKK223-3. The recombinant E. coli JM109 cells hydrolyzed enantioselectively 2-methyl-2-propylmalononitrile to form (S)-2-cyano-2-methylpentanoic acid (CMPA) with 96 % e.e. Under optimized conditions, 80 g (S)-CMPA l−1 was produced with a molar yield of 97 % at 30 °C after a 24 h without any by-products.