To research the potential ability of marine-derived actinomycetes to act as biocatalysts, 8 Micromonospora strains and 5 Streptomyces strains were screened. Two recommended media (227 and 1076 media) and 2 modified media (1076-25% and P-1076-25% media) for liquid culture of these marine-derived actinomycetes were tested. As a result, 2 Micromonospora strains (Micromonospora sp. NBRC107096 and 107097) cultured with the 1076-25% medium and 2 Streptomyces strains (Streptomyces tateyamensis NBRC105048 and Streptomyces sp. NBRC105896) cultured with P-1076-25% medium showed a good growth. The stereoselective reduction of α-keto esters using these 4 actinomycetes was tested. As a result, it was found that these strains had a reducing activity toward various α-keto esters. The introduction of L-glutamate or sucrose as an additive remarkably increased the conversion ratios in the reduction of substrates by the Micromonospora strain. Furthermore, in the presence of L-alanine, Streptomyces tateyamensis NBRC105048 reduced ethyl pyruvate, ethyl 2-oxobutanoate, ethyl 2-oxopentanoate, ethyl 2-oxohexanoate, and ethyl 3-methyl-2-oxobutyrate to the corresponding α-hydroxy ester with a high conversion ratio and with excellent enantiomeric excess. Thus, we found that these marine-derived actinomycetes have great potential to be used as biocatalysts for stereoselective reduction of carbonyl compounds.
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