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Nucleoside analogues are used widely for the treatment of viral diseases and cancer, however the preparation of some important intermediates of these nucleoside analogues, including 2'-deoxyadenosine (dAR) and 5-methyluridine (5-MU), remains inconvenient. To optimize the synthesis of dAR and 5-MU, recombinant strains and auto-induction medium were employed in this study. E. coli BL21(DE3) strains overexpressing purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP), uridine phosphorylase (UP) and thymidine phosphorylase (TP) were constructed and cultured in auto-induction ZYM-Fe-5052 medium for 8 h. The cultures of these strains were then used directly to synthesize dAR and 5-MU. Under optimized conditions, 30 mM adenine was converted to 29 mM dAR in 1 h, and 32 mM 5-MU was obtained from 60 mM thymine, using 6% (v/v) cell solutions as biocatalysts. These results indicate that our convenient and efficient method is ideal for the preparation of dAR and 5-MU, and has potential for the preparation of other nucleoside analogue intermediates.


Juan Xiong, Wenquan Zhang, Jingtan Su, Junlong Shangguan, Yin Lin, Yang Yang, Rongqing Zhang, Liping Xie, Hongzhong Wang. Improved synthesis of 2'-deoxyadenosine and 5-methyluridine by Escherichia coli using an auto-induction system. World journal of microbiology & biotechnology. 2012 Feb;28(2):721-7

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PMID: 22806868

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