Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22790719
Mar. Biotechnol. 2013 Feb;15(1):97-103
Marine fungi belonging to the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladosporium, and Bionectria catalyzed the biotransformation of phenylacetonitrile to 2-hydroxyphenylacetic acid. Eight marine fungi, selected and cultured with phenylacetonitrile in liquid mineral medium, catalyzed it quantitative biotransformation to 2-hydroxyphenylacetic acid. In this study, the nitrile group was firstly hydrolysed, and then, the aromatic ring was hydroxylated, producing 2-hydroxyphenylacetic acid with 51 % yield isolated. In addition, the 4-fluorophenylacetonitrile was exclusively biotransformed to 4-fluorophenylacetic acid by Aspergillus sydowii Ce19 (yield = 51 %). The enzymatic biotransformation of nitriles is not trivial, and here, we describe an efficient method for production of phenylacetic acids in mild conditions.