Modelling of the enzymatic kinetically controlled synthesis of cephalexin

C.G.P.H. Schroën, C.B. Fretz, V.H. de Bruin, W. Berendsen, H.M. Moody, E.C. Roos, J.L. van Roon, P.J. Kroon, M. Strubel, A.E.M. Janssen, J. Tramper

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27 Citations (Scopus)


In this study the influence of diffusion limitation on enzymatic kinetically controlled cephalexin synthesis from phenylglycine amide and 7-aminodeacetoxycephalosporinic acid (7-ADCA) was investigated systematically. It was found that if diffusion limitation occurred, both the synthesis/hydrolysis ratio (S/H ratio) and the yield decreased, resulting in lower product and higher by-product concentrations. The effect of pH, enzyme loading, and temperature was investigated, their influence on the course of the reaction was evaluated, and eventually diffusion limitation was minimised. It was found that at pH 7 the effect of diffusion limitation was eminent; the difference in S/H ratio and yield between free and immobilised enzyme was considerable. At lower pH, the influence of diffusion limitation was minimal. At low temperature, high yields and S/H ratios were found for all enzymes tested because the hydrolysis reactions were suppressed and the synthesis reaction was hardly influenced by temperature. The enzyme loading influenced the S/H ratio and yield, as expected for diffusion-limited particles. For Assemblase 3750? (the number refers to the degree of enzyme loading), it was proven that both cephalexin synthesis and hydrolysis were diffusion limited. For Assemblase 7500?, which carries double the enzyme load of Assemblase 3750?, these reactions were also proven to be diffusion limited, together with the binding-step of the substrate phenylglycine amide to the enzyme. For an actual process, the effects of diffusion limitation should preferably be minimised. This can be achieved at low temperature, low pH, and high substrate concentrations. An optimum in S/H ratio and yield was found at pH 7.5 and low temperature, where a relatively low reaction pH can be combined with a relatively high solubility of 7-ADCA. When comparing the different enzymes at these conditions, the free enzyme gave slightly better results than both immobilised biocatalysts, but the effect of diffusion limitation was minimal
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-340
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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