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Human Deoxycytidine Kinase Is a Valuable Biocatalyst for the Synthesis of Nucleotide Analogues

Hellendahl, Katja F.; Kamel, Sarah; Wetterwald, Albane; Neubauer, Peter; Wagner, Anke

FG Bioverfahrenstechnik

Natural ribonucleoside-5’-monophosphates are building blocks for nucleic acids which are used for a number of purposes, including food additives. Their analogues, additionally, are used in pharmaceutical applications. Fludarabine-5´-monophosphate, for example, is effective in treating hematological malignancies. To date, ribonucleoside-5’-monophosphates are mainly produced by chemical synthesis, but the inherent drawbacks of this approach have led to the development of enzymatic synthesis routes. In this study, we evaluated the potential of human deoxycytidine kinase (HsdCK) as suitable biocatalyst for the synthesis of natural and modified ribonucleoside-5’-monophosphates from their corresponding nucleosides. Human dCK was heterologously expressed in E. coli and immobilized onto Nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid (Ni-NTA) superflow. A screening of the substrate spectrum of soluble and immobilized biocatalyst revealed that HsdCK accepts a wide range of natural and modified nucleosides, except for thymidine and uridine derivatives. Upon optimization of the reaction conditions, HsdCK was used for the synthesis of fludarabine-5´-monophosphate using increasing substrate concentrations. While the soluble biocatalyst revealed highest product formation with the lowest substrate concentration of 0.3 mM, the product yield increased with increasing substrate concentrations in the presence of the immobilized HsdCK. Hence, the application of immobilized HsdCK is advantageous upon using high substrate concentration which is relevant in industrial applications.