Enzymes of aldoxime–nitrile pathway for organic synthesis

  • Tek Chand Bhalla
  • Vijay Kumar
  • Virender Kumar
Mini Review


Aldoxime–nitrile pathway is one of the important routes of carbon and nitrogen metabolism in many life forms and a key interface for plant–microbe interactions. This pathway starts with transformation of amino acids to aldoximes, which are converted to nitriles and the later are ultimately hydrolyzed to acids and ammonia. Understanding and engineering of the enzymes involved in this pathway viz. cytochrome P450/CYP79, aldoxime dehydratase, nitrilase, nitrile hydratase, amidase and hydroxynitrile lyase, presents unprecedented opportunities in biocatalysis and green chemistry. Co-expressing these enzymes in prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial hosts and tailoring their properties i.e. activity, specificity, stability and enantioselectivity may lead to develop sustainable bioprocesses for the synthesis of industrially important nitriles, amides and acids.


Aldoxime dehydratase Hydroxynitrile lyase Nitrilase Biotransformation 



Authors are highly grateful to University Grants Commission (UGC) New Delhi, India for providing financial assistance in the form of Senior Research Fellowship to Dr. Vijay Kumar. The computational facility availed at Sub-Distributed Information Centre (SDIC), Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, is also duly acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyHimachal Pradesh UniversityHimachalIndia

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