Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.104, No.3, 1001-1012, 2020
Advances in acrylamide bioproduction catalyzed with Rhodococcus cells harboring nitrile hydratase
Acrylamide is an important bulk chemical used for producing polyacrylamide, which is widely applied in diverse fields, such as enhanced oil recovery and water treatment. Acrylamide production with a superior biocatalyst, free-resting Rhodococcus cells containing nitrile hydratase (NHase), has been proven to be simple but effective, thereby becoming the main method adopted in industry to date. Under the harsh industrial conditions, however, NHase-containing Rhodococcus cells in a natural state are prone to deactivation. Thus, multiple genetic strategies able to evolve recombinant Rhodococcus biocatalysts at either the enzyme or cell level have been reported. While most of the methods on enzyme engineering concentrate on NHase stability enhancement by strengthening the flexible sites, Rhodococcus cell engineering with various methods can enhance both the NHase activity and stability as well. Developing some new types of reactors, especially the microreactor, is also an effective way to improve the hydration process efficiency. Compared with the conventional stirred tank reactor, the membrane dispersion microreactor can enhance the heat and mass transfer in the hydration process with Rhodococcus cells as biocatalysts, thereby significantly improving the productivity of the acrylamide bioproduction process.