Oxidation of isoeugenol by Nocardia iowensis
Isoeugenol is a starting material for both the synthetic and biotechnological production of vanillin and vanillic acid. Nocardia iowensis DSM 45197 (formerly Nocardia species NRRL 5646) resting cells catalyze the conversion of isoeugenol to vanillic acid, vanillin, vanillyl alcohol and guaiacol. The present study used a variety of chemical, microbial and enzymatic approaches to probe the pathways used by N. iowensis in the oxidation of isoeugenol to these products. Of three possible pathways considered, initial side-chain olefin epoxidation, epoxide hydrolysis to a vicinal diol, and diol cleavage to vanillin and subsequently further oxidation to vanillic acid appears as the most likely route. Isoeugenol was not oxidized to ferulic acid, a well-known microbial transformation precursor for vanillin and vanillic acid. 18O-Labeled oxygen (one atom) and water (two oxygen atoms) were incorporated into vanillic acid during the whole-cell biotransformation reaction with isoeugenol indicating the likely involvement of oxygenase and hydrolase systems in the bioconversion reaction. Vanillin was converted to singly labeled vanillic acid in the presence of H218O suggesting the presence of an aldehyde oxidase. Cell extracts achieved the conversion of isoeugenol to vanillic acid and vanillin without cofactors. Partial fractionation of two enzyme activities supported the presence of isoeugenol monooxygenase and vanillin oxidase activities in N. iowensis.
Journal: Enzyme and Microbial Technology - Volume 43, Issue 7, 10 December 2008, Pages 486–494