Biotechnology Letters, Vol.33, No.3, 611-616, 2011
Rational design of styrene monooxygenase mutants with altered substrate preference
Styrene monooxygenase catalyzes the enantioselective epoxidation of styrene but displays significantly decreased activity toward styrene derivatives with an alpha- or beta-substituent. Based on the X-ray crystal structure of the oxygenase subunit of styrene monooxygenase, molecular docking of alpha-ethylstyrene was performed to identify adjacent residues. Four amino acid substitutions (R43A, L44A, L45A, and N46A) were introduced into the enzyme by site-directed mutagenesis. All four mutations led to a change of substrate preference. The mutant L45A, in particular, exhibited an altered substrate preference toward the bulkier substrate alpha-ethylstyrene.