Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (8): 2051-2063.doi: 10.1016/j.cjche.2020.02.008

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Fatty acid hydratase for value-added biotransformation: A review

Yan Zhang1, Bekir Engin Eser1, Peter Kristensen2, Zheng Guo1   

  1. 1 Department of Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Gustav wieds vej 10, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark;
    2 Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, 9220 Aalborg, Denmark
  • Received:2020-01-02 Revised:2020-01-27 Online:2020-08-28 Published:2020-09-19
  • Contact: Zheng Guo,
  • Supported by:
    Financial Supports from Novo Nordisk Foundation(-NNF16OC0021740) and Aarhus Universitets Forskningsfond, AUFFNOVA(AUFF-E-2015-FLS-9-12) are gratefully acknowledged.

Abstract: The synthesis of hydroxy fatty acids (HFAs) from renewable oil feedstock by addition of water onto C=C bonds has attracted great attention in recent years. Given that selective asymmetric hydration of non-activated C=C bonds has been proven difficult to achieve with chemical catalysts, enzymatic catalysis by fatty acid hydratases (FAHs) presents an attractive alternative approach to produce value-added HFAs with high regio-, enantioand stereospecificity, as well as excellent atom economy. Even though FAHs have just been investigated as a potential biocatalyst for a decade, remarkable information about FAHs in different aspects is available; however, a comprehensive review has not been archived. Herein, we summarize the research progresses on biochemical characterization, structural and mechanistic determination, enzyme engineering, as well as biotechnological application of FAHs. The current challenges and opportunities for an efficient utilization of FAHs in organic synthesis and industrial applications are critically discussed.

Key words: Hydroxy fatty acids, Fatty acid hydratases, Enzyme characterization, Catalytic mechanism, Enzyme engineering, Biotransformation