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1. (WO2016198660) TRANSAMINASES
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Transaminases

[0001] The application claims priority of EP 15171924, filed on June 12, 2015.

[0002] The invention relates to transaminases, also called aminotransferases, or more specifically to amine transaminases, in the following also abbreviated and referred to as "ATA". The AT As according to the invention are particularly useful for catalyzing the conversion of amines to ketones and/or vice versa.

[0003] Transaminases are ubiquitous enzymes found in all kingdoms of life. Transaminases catalyze the transfer of an amino group from an amine donor molecule to an amine acceptor ketone molecule and vice versa. Transaminases are divided into six classes based on common structural features and sequence similarity (Steffen-Munsberg et al. 2015). So called "omega transaminases (ω transaminase) transfer amino groups that are more distant from a carboxylic group (e.g. in β, γ or δ position) and are often part of aminotransferase class-Ill family (mainly (S)-selective amine transaminases) or class-IV (mainly (R)-selective amine transaminases). For determining a protein's family membership, the InterPro web tool can be used (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro; Hunter et al., 2012).

[0004] The term "Amine transaminases" (ATA) describes transaminases, including omega transminases, that allow for the conversion of amines independently from the presence or absence of carboxylic groups in the substrate, and predominantly are a subgroup of class III transaminases. Accordingly, the termiology of omega transaminase is misleading but often used in publications. ATAs are all enzymes which belong to the EC sub-subclass EC 2.6.1., as defined by the International Union of Biochemistry and Moleular Biology. As of the date of this invention, no specific EC serial number for transaminases primarily converting non-carboxyl substrates has been appointed, and ATAs often are referred to as EC 2.6.1.X whereas X stands for any enzyme classified in the sub-subclass EC 2.6.1., and as of the date of this invention for any figure from 1 to 107 (i.e. EC 2.6.1.1, EC 2.6.1.2, EC 2.6.1.3, ... until EC 2.6.1.107). Other examples of members of the class III transaminases with different primary functions are acetylornithine aminotransferase (EC 2.6.1.11), ornithine aminotransferase (EC 2.6.1.13), omega-amino acid-pyruvate aminotransferase (EC 2.6.1.18), 4-aminobutyrate aminotransferase (EC 2.6.1.19), DAPA aminotransferase (EC 2.6.1.62), 2, 2-dialkylglycine decarboxylase (EC 4.1.1.64), or glutamate-l-semialdehyde aminotransferase (EC 5.4.3.8).

[0005] The reaction of ATAs converts ketone substrates (A) into amine products (C) while simultaneously converting amino donor cosubstrates (B) into the corresponding ketone co-product (D):


A B C D

[0006] According to their stereoselectivity, two classes of ATAs have been distinguished: (S)-ATAs that preferentially catalyze formation of an (S)-amine from a keto group, and (R)-ATAs that preferentially catalyze formation of an (R)-amine from a keto group. However, this distinction in (S)-ATAs and (R)-ATAs can be misleading, as it depends on the nature of the substrate, namely the substituents of the keto group and their priority according to the rules of the CIP nomenclature (Cahn-Ingold-Prelog). Thus, a given ATA may be regarded as an (S)-ATA with respect to the conversion of one keto group, whereas the same ATA may be regarded as an (R)-ATA with respect to the conversion of another keto group.

[0007] The stereoselective synthesis of amine compounds, in particular of chiral amine compounds, is of outstanding interest for synthetic chemistry in particular in the pharmaceutical industry (Shaheer Malik et al, 2012), but also plays an important role in polymer chemistry (polyamides). Furthermore, ATAs can be applied for kinetic resolution of racemic amines.

[0008] The reaction that is catalyzed by ATAs is reversible (equilibrium reaction) and may undergo substrate or product inhibition, depending on the specific reaction equilibrium. In order to obtain industrially relevant amounts of a desired product, ATAs are required that catalyze the conversion of substrates with high specific activity. It may be required to bias the equilibrium reaction toward production of the desired amine compound by choosing optimal reaction conditions, resulting in high product yields over process time. Also other kinetic factors, such as substrate selectivity, KM and stereoselectivity may play an important role. Other relevant aspects may include but are not limited to diastereoselectivity, regioselectivity, inhibition by other factors (e.g. crude extract components, substrate contaminants or side products), and recombinant soluble expressability in suitable hosts.

[0009] Another important criterion in the industrial use of ATAs is a long process stability, which often correlates with a high stability at elevated temperatures, and good stability in solvents and/or at high concentrations of substrate and product, respectively. In industrial applications, process stability also may encompass chemical and physical stability, enzymatic activity in differing solvents (aqueous, non-aqueous environments, biphasic systems), and/or at a broad pH-range, e.g. from about pH 4 to about pH 11, and/or applicability with any solid supports or other processing technique.

[0010] For an efficient and economic use of ATAs in industrial applications it is desirable to employ ATAs with a high specific activity, high stereoselectivity, and high thermostability and high conversion.

[0011] Many of the currently known ATAs, however, do not possess sufficient thermostability, high conversion, or high stereoselective, and do not provide the desired (chiral) amine in sufficient yield.

[0012] Improvement of enzymes can be achieved by enzyme engineering. This technique involves the development of variants of a starting enzyme with improved properties (for review: S. Lutz, U.T. Bornscheuer, Protein Engineering Handbook, Wiley VCH, Weinheim, 2009).

[0013] The engineering of AT As for improving stereoselectivity, thermostability or conversion has been described in the literature.

[0014] W Lima Afonso Neto et al., Technical University of Denmark, Phd Thesis, relates to process considerations for the asymmetric synthesis of chiral amines using ω transaminase.

[0015] JP 2007 185133 (GSP:AGH64081) relates to an aminotransaminase maintaining its enzyme activity under a high temperature condition. This aminotransaminase is encoded by a polynucleotide derived from Pseudomonas corrugata and having a specific base sequence. It is possible to produce the aminotransaminase by preparing transformed cells by using a vector containing the polynucleotide. Thereby, it is also possible to produce an optically active amino compound such as an optically active l-benzyl-3-aminopyrrolidine, etc.

[0016] EP 2 022 852 relates to a method for producing an optic ally- active amine compound. The method is characterized by using a transaminase (A), an alpha-keto acid reductase (B), and an enzyme (C), each having specific properties, in an identical reaction system to convert a ketone compound into a corresponding optically-active amine compound in which a carbon atom with an amino group bonded thereto serves as an asymmetric center.

[0017] WO 2004/085624 (GSP:ADS78319) relates to methods of enzymatic detoxification of aminated toxins, e.g., mycotoxins, such as fumonisin. The reference provides methods to enzymatically detoxify plants, foods or feeds or any contaminated product or surface, including detoxification of mycotoxins, such as fumonisin, e.g., fumonisin Bl and fumonisin B2. The reference provides methods to prevent the contamination of plants, foods or feeds or any contaminated product or surface by application or a polypeptide having a deaminase activity. In one aspect, the reference relates to polypeptides having an aminotransferase, an aminomutase and/or a deaminase activity, polynucleotides encoding these enzymes, methods of making and using these polynucleotides and polypeptides..

[0018] WO 2006/063336 discloses thermostable omega-transaminases, particularly thermostable omega-transaminases which are said to have a high reaction rate and which are said to be tolerant to high concentrations of donor amine.

[0019] WO 2010/081053 provides engineered transaminase enzymes having improved properties as compared to a naturally occurring wild-type transaminase enzyme. Also provided are polynucleotides encoding the engineered transaminase enzymes, host cells capable of expressing the engineered transaminase enzymes, and methods of using the engineered transaminase enzymes to synthesize a variety of chiral compounds.

[0020] WO 2011/159910 relates to engineered transaminase polypeptides which are said to have improved properties as compared to naturally occurring transaminases including the ability of converting the substrate, 3'-hydroxyacetophenone to (S)-3-(l-aminoethyl)-phenol in enantiomeric excess and high percentage conversion.

[0021] The AT As of the prior art, however, are not satisfactory in every respect and there is a demand for improved ATAs having advantages compared to conventional ATAs, in particular with respect to high process stabilities at high temperatures for the industrial production of chiral amine products with good yields in high enantiomeric excess.

[0022] It is an object of the invention to provide ATAs that have advantages to the ATAs of the prior art. This problem has been solved by the subject-matter of the patent claims.

[0023] The invention provides new ATAs, particularly engineered ATAs exhibiting improved properties as compared to the wildtype enzyme, preferably the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3.

[0024] A first aspect of the invention relates to an ATA comprising an amino acid sequence with a homology of at least 75%, preferably of at least 80%>, more preferably of at least 85%>, still more preferably of at least 90%>, to the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:3.

[0025] Preferably, the transaminase comprises an amino acid sequence with at least 80%o homology to SEQ ID NO:3, wherein the transaminase is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 at least in position N161. Preferably, the transaminase is additionally engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in position Y164 and/or position G51. In a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention, the transaminase comprises at least two substitutions selected from the group consisting of N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161Q, N161I, Y164L, Y164M, Y164A, Y164F, Y164I, and G51S.

[0026] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention comprises an amino acid sequence with a homology to SEQ ID NO:3 of at least 76%>, or at least 77%o, or at least 78%o, or at least 79%o, or at least 80%o, more preferably at least 81%>, or at least 82%o, or at least 83%o, or at least 84%o, or at least 85%o, still more preferably at least 86%>, or at least 87%o, or at least 88%o, or at least 89%o, or at least 90%o, yet more preferably at least 91%, or at least 92%o, or at least 93%o, or at least 94%o, or at least 95%o, and most preferably at least 96%>, or at least 97%o, or at least 98%o, or at least 99%o. Preferably, the ATA comprises an amino acid sequence with a homology to the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:3 of at least 98.6 or at least 98.7%o, more preferably at least 98.8 or at least 99.0%o, still more preferably at least 99.1%o or at least 99.2%o, yet more preferably at least 99.3 or at least 99.4%o, even more preferably at least 99.5%o or at least 99.6%o, most preferably at least 99.7 or at least 99.8%o and in particular at least 99.9%o or about 100%o.

[0027] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention comprises an amino acid sequence which is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 at least in position N161, preferably at least in positions N161 and Y164, or at least in positions N161 and G51, with a homology to SEQ ID NO:3 of at least 80%o, more preferably at least 81 o, or at least 82%o, or at least 83 %o, or at least 84%o, or at least 85 %o, still more preferably at least 86%o, or at least 87%o, or at least 88%o, or at least 89%o, or at least 90%o, yet more preferably at least 91%o, or at least 92%o, or at least 93%o, or at least 94%o, or at least 95%o, and most preferably at least 96%o, or at least 97%o, or at least 98%o, or at least 99%). Preferably, the ATA comprises an amino acid sequence with a homology to the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:3 of at least 98.6% or at least 98.7%, more preferably at least 98.8 or at least 99.0%, still more

preferably at least 99.1% or at least 99.2%, yet more preferably at least 99.3 or at least 99.4%>, even more preferably at least 99.5%> or at least 99.6%>, most preferably at least 99.7 or at least 99.8%> and in particular at least 99.9% or about 100%.

[0028] The ATA according to the invention comprises such an amino acid sequence with a defined homology to the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 3. This means that the ATA according to the invention may comprise said amino acid sequence as a subsequence of its overall amino acid sequence, or that the ATA according to the invention may essentially consist of said amino acid sequence. When the ATA according to the invention comprises said amino acid sequence as a subsequence of its overall amino acid sequence, said overall amino acid sequence may be extended, i.e. may comprise additional amino acid residues, at the N-terminus and/or at the C-terminus of said subsequence. Such extension may be advantageous, for example, when the ATA is to be immobilized on a solid support, e.g. for purification purposes.

[0029] In the meaning of this invention, the homology is preferably calculated as identity using BLASTP (Stephen F. Altschul, Thomas L. Madden, Alejandro A. Schaffer, Jinghui Zhang, Zheng Zhang, Webb Miller, and David J. Lipman (1997) "Gapped BLAST and PSI-BLAST: a new generation of protein database search programs", Nucleic Acids Res. 25:3389-3402; Stephen F. Altschul, John C. Wootton, E. Michael Gertz, Richa Agarwala, Aleksandr Morgulis, Alejandro A. Schaffer, and Yi-Kuo Yu (2005) "Protein database searches using compositionally adjusted substitution matrices." FEBS J. 272:5101-5109), preferably using version BLASTP 2.2.29+ (http://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi), preferably using the following settings:

• Field "Enter Query Sequence": Query subrange: none

• Field "Choose Search Set": Database: non-redundant protein sequences (nr); optional parameters: none

• Field "Program Selection": Algorithm: blastp (protein-protein BLAST)

• Algorithm parameters: Field "General parameters": Max target sequences: 100; Short queries:

Automatically adjust parameters for short input sequences; Expect threshold: 10; Word size: 3; Max matches in a query range: 0

• Algorithm parameters: Field "Scoring parameters": Matrix: BLOSUM62; Gap Costs: Existence: 11 Extension: 1; Compositional adjustments: Conditional compositional score matrix adjustment

• Algorithm parameters: Field "Filters and Masking": Filter: none; Mask: none.

[0030] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is capable of catalyzing the conversion of a ketone substrate (A) to an amine (C). Concomitantly, the ATA according to the invention is capable to catalyzing the conversion of an amine donor molecule (B) to a ketone product (D). Also preferably, the ATA according to the invention is capable of catalyzing the conversion of an amine (C) to a ketone product (A), thereby concomitantly catalyzing the conversion of an amine acceptor (D) into an amine molecule (B):


A B C D

[0031] In a preferred embodiment, the ATA according to the invention is capable of catalyzing the stereoselective conversion of a ketone substrate (A) to a chiral (S)-amine (C), and/or vice versa of a chiral (S)-amine (C) to a ketone product (A).

[0032] In another preferred embodiment, the ATA according to the invention is capable of catalyzing the stereoselective conversion of a ketone substrate (A) to a chiral (R)-amine (C), and/or vice versa of a chiral (R)-amine (C) to a ketone product (A).

[0033] The ATA according to the invention is preferably capable of catalyzing the conversion of

(i) a ketone substrate according to general formula (I)


to an amine product according to general formula (II)


(ii);

and/or the preferably concomitant conversion of

(ii) an amine cosubstrate according to general formula (III)


(HI)

to a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV)


(IV);

or vice versa;

wherein the amine product according to general formula (II) preferably has (S)-configuration or (R)- configuration at the central carbon atom as shown in general formula (II); and

wherein X and Y as well as A and B, in either case, independently of one another, are selected from saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic or alicyclic Ci-12-hydrocarbon residues; unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted C6-io-aromatic hydrocarbon residues, optionally being bridged through a saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic Ci-12-hydrocarbon residue; unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted heteroaromatic hydrocarbon residues, optionally being

bridged through a saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic C1-12- hydrocarbon residue; and sugar residues or desoxysugar residues in each case comprising mono-, di- or oligosaccharides;

wherein one of residues X or Y, as well as one of residues A or B, in either case, independently of one another, may be hydrogen;

wherein mono- or polysubstituted means independently substituted with one or more functional groups selected from -halo, -OH, =0, -OCi-12-alkyl, -OC6-io-aryl, -O-heteroaryl, -OCOCi-12-alkyl, -OCOC6-io-aryl, - OCO-heteroaryl, -SH, -SCi-12-alkyl, -SC6-io-aryl, -S-heteroaryl,
-NO, -NO2, -N3, -NH2, -NH(Ci- 12-alkyl), -N(Ci-i2-alkyl)2, -NH(C6-io-aryl), -N(C6-io-aryl)2, -NH(heteroaryl), -N(heteroaryl)2, -CN, -CHO, - CO2H, CO-Ci-2-alkyl, -CO-C6-io-aryl and -CO-heteroaryl.

[0034] A skilled person recognizes that when X≠Y≠ hydrogen, the central carbon atom as shown in general formula (II) is chiral and may have either (S)-configuration or (R)-configuration. The same applies to A, B and general formula (IV).

[0035] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is preferably capable of catalyzing the stereoselective conversion of

(i) a ketone substrate according to general formula (I)


(ii);

and/or the preferably concomitant conversion of

(ii) a chiral or non-chiral amine cosubstrate according to general formula (III)


(HI)

to a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV)


(IV);

or vice versa;

wherein the chiral amine product according to general formula (II) preferably has (S)-configuration or (Reconfiguration; and

wherein X and Y as well as A and B, in either case, independently of one another, are selected from saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic or alicyclic Ci-12-hydrocarbon residues; unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted C6-io-aromatic hydrocarbon residues, optionally being bridged through a saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic Ci-12-hydrocarbon residue; unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted heteroaromatic hydrocarbon residues, optionally being bridged through a saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic C1-12- hydrocarbon residue; and sugar residues or desoxysugar residues in each case comprising mono-, di- or oligosaccharides;

wherein one of residues X or Y, as well as one of residues A or B, in either case, independently of one another, may be hydrogen;

wherein mono- or polysubstituted means independently substituted with one or more functional groups selected from -halo, -OH, =0, -OCi-12-alkyl, -OC6-io-aryl, -O-heteroaryl, -OCOCi-12-alkyl, -OCOC6-io-aryl, - OCO-heteroaryl, -SH, -SCi-12-alkyl, -SC6-io-aryl, -S-heteroaryl,
-NO, -NO2, -N3, -NH2, -NH(Ci- 12-alkyl), -N(Ci-i2-alkyl)2, -NH(C6-io-aryl), -N(C6-io-aryl)2, -NH(heteroaryl), -N(heteroaryl)2, -CN, -CHO, - CO2H, CO-Ci-2-alkyl, -CO-C6-io-aryl and -CO-heteroaryl.

[0036] X and Y as well as A and B, in either case, independently of one another, can be alkyl, cycloalkyl, alkylcycloalkyl, aryl, alkylaryl, heteroaryl or alkylheteroaryl, which in each case can be unsubstituted or substituted with one or more chemical groups that do not interfere with enzyme catalysis, and wherer X or Y as well as A and B may be hydrogen. Further, X and Y may not be identical in structure and chirality, and may already contain a center of chirality. X and Y may also form a ring, which may be substituted or unsubstituted or fused to other rings. A and B of the cosubstrate may be identical or not identical in structure or chirality, and like X and Y, may form a ring, which may be substituted or unsubstituted or fused to other rings.

[0037] Preferably, X and Y as well as A and B, in either case, independently of one another, are each independently selected from unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted Ci-12-alkyl; unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted C6-io-aryl, optionally being bridged through a unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted C1-12-alkylene residue; unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted heteroaryl, optionally being bridged through a unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic Ci-12-alkylene residue; and sugar residues or desoxysugar residues in each case comprising mono-, di- or oligosaccharides;

wherein mono- or polysubstituted means independently substituted with one or more functional groups selected from -halo, -OH, =0, -OCi-12-alkyl, -OC6-io-aryl, -O-heteroaryl, -OCOCi-12-alkyl, -OCOC6-io-aryl, - OCO-heteroaryl, -SH, -SCi-12-alkyl, -SC6-io-aryl, -S-heteroaryl,
-NO, -NO2, -N3, -NH2, -NH(Ci- 12-alkyl), -N(Ci-i2-alkyl)2, -NH(C6-io-aryl), -N(C6-io-aryl)2, -NH(heteroaryl), -N(heteroaryl)2, -CN, -CHO, - CO2H, CO-Ci-2-alkyl, -CO-C6-io-aryl and -CO-heteroaryl.

[0038] For the purpose of the description, saturated or unsaturated aliphatic Ci-12-hydrocarbon residues include but are not limited to alkyl, alkenyl and alkynyl residues, such as -CH3, -CH2CH3, -CH2CH2CH3, -CH(CJ¾)2, -CH2CH2CH2CH3, -CH(CH3)CH2CH3, -CH2CH(CH3)2, -C(CH3)3, -CH=CH2, -CH=CHCH=CH2, -C≡CH, and -CH=CHC≡CH.

[0039] For the purpose of the description, saturated or unsaturated alicyclic Ci-12-hydrocarbon residues include but are not limited to C3-i2-cycloalkyl, wherein 1 or 2 carbon ring atoms may optionally be replaced by heteroatoms selected from N, O and S (Ci-12-heterocycloalkyl).

[0040] For the purpose of the description, C6-io-aromatic hydrocarbon residues (=C6-io-aryl) include but are not limited to phenyl and naphthyl.

[0041] For the purpose of the description, heteroaromatic hydrocarbon residues (= heteroaryl) include but are not limited to monocyclic ring systems, bicyclic ring systems and tricyclic ring systems. Examples of monocyclic heteroaryls include but are not limited to azetidinyl, azepanyl, aziridinyl, diazepinyl, 1, 3-dioxolanyl, dioxanyl, dithianyl, furyl, imidazolyl, imidazolinyl, imidazolidinyl, isothiazolyl, isothiazolinyl, isothiazolidinyl, isoxazolyl, isoxazolinyl, isoxazolidinyl, morpholinyl, oxadiazolyl, oxadiazolinyl, oxadiazolidinyl, oxazolyl, oxazolinyl, oxazolidinyl, piperazinyl, piperidinyl, pyranyl, pyrazinyl, pyrazolyl, pyrazolinyl, pyrazolidinyl, pyridinyl, pyrimidinyl, pyridazinyl, pyrrolyl, pyrrolinyl, pyrrolidinyl, tetrahydrofuranyl, tetrahydrothienyl, tetrazinyl, tetrazolyl, thiadiazolyl, thiadiazolinyl, thiadiazolidinyl, thiazolyl, thiazolinyl, thiazolidinyl, thienyl, thiomorpholinyl, 1, 1 -dioxidothiomo holinyl (thiomorpholine sulfone), thiopyranyl, triazinyl, triazolyl, and trithianyl. Examples of bicyclic heteroaryls include but are not limited to benzimidazolyl, benzodioxinyl, benzothiazolyl, benzothienyl, benzotriazolyl, benzoxazolyl, benzofuranyl, benzopyranyl, benzothiopyranyl, cinnolinyl, indazolyl, indolyl, 2, 3-dihydroindolyl, indolizinyl, naphthyridinyl, isobenzofuranyl, isobenzothienyl, isoindolyl, isoquinolinyl, phthalazinyl, 4H-pyrido(l,2-a)pyrimidin-4-one, pyranopyridinyl, quinolinyl, quinolizinyl, quinoxalinyl, quinazolinyl, tetrahydroisoquinolinyl, tetrahydroquinolinyl, and thiopyranopyridinyl. Examples of tricyclic heteroaryls include but are not limited to acridinyl, carbazolyl, carbolinyl, dibenzo(b, d)furanyl, dibenzo(b,d)thienyl, naphtho(2,3-b)furan, naphtho(2, 3-b)thienyl, phenazinyl, phenothiazinyl, phenoxazinyl, thianthrenyl, thioxanthenyl and xanthenyl.

[0042] For the purpose of the description, mono- or polysubstituted with regard to alkyl (e.g. -Ci-12-alkyl), cycloalkyl (e.g. -C3-8-cycloalkyl), aryl (e.g. -C6-io-aryl) and heteroaryl, respectively, preferably independently means replacement of a hydrogen from the core by one or more functional groups selected from -halo (preferably -F, -CI, -Br, -I), -OH, =0, -OCi-12-alkyl, -OCe-io-aryl, -O-heteroaryl, -OCOCi-12-alkyl, -OCOCe-io-aryl, -OCO-heteroaryl, -SH, -SCi-12-alkyl, -SC6-io-aryl, -S-heteroaryl,
-NO, -NO2, -N3, -NH2, -NH(Ci-i2-alkyl), -N(Ci-i2-alkyl)2, -NH(C6-io-aryl), -N(C6-io-aryl)2, -NH(heteroaryl), -N(heteroaryl)2, -CN, -CHO, -CO2H, CO-Ci-2-alkyl, -CO-C6-io-aryl and -CO-heteroaryl.

[0043] For the purpose of the description, sugar residues or desoxysugar residues in each case comprising mono-, di- or oligosaccharides means that the ketone substrate of general formula (I) or the amine cosubstrate of general formula (III) may be a polyhydroxycarbonyl compound, optionally linked to other polyhydroxycarbonyl

compounds through acetal and/or ketal bonds. For example, when X is Ci alkyl monosubstituted with -OH and Y is C2 alkyl polysubstituted with -OH, wherein every carbon atom bears a single -OH substituent, the ketone substrate of general formula (I) is a ketotetrose encompassing both enantiomers, D-erythrulose as well as L-erythrolose. Analogously, the ketone substrate of general formula (I) may be a ketopentose or a ketohexose which in turn may be linked to other sugar residues thus forming disaccharides or oligosaccharides.

[0044] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is capable converting a ketone substrate to an amine with a broad specific activity for amine donor substrates chosen. Suitable amine donors may be selected according their specific activity in a given raction. Examples for amine donors that can be used used with the invention include, without limitation, isopropylamine (hereinafter also referred to as "IP A", also known as 2-aminopropane or propan-2-amine), phenylethylamine (also known as 1- phenylethylamine, and often also incorrectly referred to as methyl-benzylamine, hereinafter also referred to as "MBA"), l-methyl-3-phenylpropylamine (also known as 2- amino-4-phenylbutane), glycine, glutamic acid, glutamate, monosodium glutamate, D-alanine, L-alanin, aspartic acid, lysine, ornithine, β-alanine, taurine, n-octylamine, cyclohexylamine, 1,4-butanediamine, 1,6-hexanediamine, 6-aminohexanoic acid, 4-ammobutyric acid, tyramine, and benzyl amine, 2-aminobutane, 2-amino-l-butanol, 1 -amino- 1 -phenylethane, l-amino-l-(2-methoxy-5-fluorophenyl) ethane, 1 -amino- 1- phenylpropane, 1 -amino- l-(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane, 1 -amino- 1 -(4-bromophenyl)propane, 1 -amino- 1 -(4-nitrophenyl)propane, l-phenyl-2-aminopropane, 1 -(3 -trifluoromethyl-phenyl)-2-aminopropane (also known as norfenfluramine), 2-aminopropanol, 1- amino- 1 -phenylbutane, 1-phenyl-2-aminobutane, 1 -(2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylphenyl)-2-aminobutane, 1 -phenyl-3 -aminobutane, 1 -(4-hydroxyphenyl)-3 -aminobutane, 1 -amino-2-methylcyclopentane, 1 -amino-3 -methylcyclopentane, 1 -amino-2-methylcyclohexane, l-amino-l-(2-naphthyl)ethane, 3 -methyl cyclopentylamine, 2-methylcyclopentylamine, 2-ethylcyclopentylamine, 2-methylcyclohexylamine, 3 -methyl cyclohexylamine, 1-aminotetralin, 2-aminotetralin, 2-amino-5-methoxytetralin, and 1-aminoindan, each example also including its structure enantionmers and isomers, as the case may be and where possible, and including all possible salts thereof.

[0045] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is capable converting an amine to a ketone substrate with a broad specific activity for amine acceptor substrates chosen. Suitable amine acceptors may be selected according their specific activity in a given raction. Examples for amine acceptors that can be used used with the invention include, without limitation, 1 -phenylethanone (also known as acetophenone, hereinafter referred to as "AP"), 4-phenyl-2-butanone (also known as benzylacetone, hereinafter referred to as "BA"), 2-oxo-acetic acid, 2-oxo-pentanedioic acid (also known as alpha-ketoglutaric acid), 5-amino-2-oxo-pentanoic acid, pyruvate, 2-ketosuccinic acid, 6-amino-2-oxo-hexanoic acid, 6-oxo-norleucine, 5-amino-2-oxo pentanoic acid, 5-oxo-norvaline, 3-oxo-propanoic acid, 2-oxo-ethanesulfonic acid, octanal, cyclohexanone, 4-aminobutanal, butanedial, 6-amino-hexanal, hexanedial, 6-oxo-hexanoic acid, 4-oxo-butyric acid, 4-hydroxy-benzeneacetaldehyde, benz-aldehyde, 2-butanone, 1 -hydro xy-2-butanone, 1 -phenylethanone, l-(5-fluoro-2-methoxyphenyl)-ethanone, 1-phenyl- 1 -propanone, 1 -(4-hydroxyphenyl)- 1 -propanone, 1 -phenyl- 1 -propanone, 1 -(4-bromophenyl)- 1 -propa-none, 1 -phenyl- 1 -propanone, 1 -(4-nitrophenyl)- 1 -propanonel -phenyl-2-propanone, 1 -(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)-2-propanone, l-Hydroxy-2-propanone, 1 -phenyl- 1 -butanone, l-phenyl-2-butanone, l-(2.5-dimethoxy-4-methyl-phenyl)-2-butanone, 1 -phenyl-3 -butanone, l-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-3 -butanone, 2-methyl-cyclopentanone, 3-methylcyclopentanone, 2-methylcyclohexanone, l-(2-naphthalenyl)ethanone, l-methyl-3-cyclopentanone, 2-

methylcyclopentanone, 2-ethylcyclopentanone, 2-methylcyclohexanone, 3-methylcyclohexanone, 1,2,3,4-tetra-hydro- 1 -oxonaphthalene, 1 ,2,3 ,4-tetrahydro-2-naphthalenone, 2-oxo-5-methoxy- 1 ,2,3 ,4-tetrahydronaphthalene and 1-indone, each example including its structure enantionmers and isomers, as the case may be and where possible, and including all possible salts thereof.

[0046] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention converting a ketone substrate to an amine, or vice versa an amine to a ketone product has a

a high thermostability,

has a high specific activity

allows for a high conversion activity under different reaction conditions involving high amine concentrations.

[0047] It was surprisingly found, that the ATA of SEQ ID NO:3 according to the invention shows superior thermostability, specific activity, and conversion under certain amine concentrations in comparison to other AT As currently described.

[0048] In particular, it has surprisingly been found, that the ATA according to the invention converting a ketone substrate to an amine, or vice versa an amine to a ketone product already has a high stability at mesophilic or high temperatures, measured as a high Tm(80%) value as described in Example 5 below. Preferably, the ATA according to the invention has a Tm(80%) value of at least 55°C, preferably of at least 56°C, preferably of at least 57°C, preferably of at least 58°C, preferably of at least 59°C, and most preferably of at least 60°C.

[0049] In particular, it furthermore has been surprisingly found, that the ATA according to the invention converting a ketone substrate to an amine product, or vice versa an amine substrate to a ketone product already has a high specific activity under Transaminase Standard Conditions as described in Example 2 below. In particular, the ATA according to the invention has a high specific activity for the conversion of racemic 1-phenylethan- 1 -amine (MBA) and pyruvate to 1 -phenylethanone (acetophenone) and L-alanine as described below. Preferably, the specific activity of the ATA according to the invention in converting a ketone substrate to an amine, or vice versa an amine to a ketone product under Transaminase Standard Conditions is at least 0.5 U/mg, preferably at least 0.6 U/mg, preferably at least 0.7 U/mg, preferably at least 0.8 U/mg, preferably at least 0.9 U/mg, preferably at least 1 U/mg, most preferably at least 1.1 U/mg.

[0050] In particular, it furthermore has been surprisingly found, that the ATA according to the invention converting a ketone substrate to an amine product, or vice versa an amine substrate to a ketone product shows high conversion of a substrate at certain concentrations of deifferent amine donor co-substrates of industrial relevance. In particular, the ATA according to the invention shows high conversion properties at reaction conditions of relevant for preparative synthesis applications with the different amine donors, isopropylamine (IP A), racemic 1 -phenylethan-1 -amine (MBA) or racemic alanine, respectively with the substrate 4-phenyl-2-butanone (BA) as described in Example 3. In particular the ATA according to the invention is very efficient in conversion upon at the Condition A (50 mM BA, 100 mM IP A), the Condition B (50 mM BA, 200 mM rac.

MBA), the Condition C (50 mM BA, 500 mM IP A), the Condition D (50 mM BA, 1000 mM rac. MBA), or the Condition E (50 mM BA, 200 mM racemic alanine).

[0051] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention in converting a ketone substrate to an amine product, or vice versa an amine substrate to a ketone product under Transaminase Conversion Assay conditions shows a conversion of

at Condition A a conversion of at least 5%, preferably of at least 6%, preferably of at least 7%, preferably of at least 8%, preferably of at least 9%, preferably of at least 10%, preferably of at least 11%, and most preferably of at least 11.9%; and/or

at Condition B a conversion of at least 10%, preferably of at least 20%>, preferably of at least 30%, preferably of at least 40%>, preferably of at least 50%o, preferably of at least 60%>, preferably of at least 70%o, and most preferably of at least 71%; and/or

at Condition C a conversion of at least 10%, preferably of at least 20%o, preferably of at least 25%o, and most preferably of at least 25.8%>; and/or

at Condition D a conversion of at least 1%, preferably of at least 2%>, preferably of at least 3%, preferably of at least 3.5%, and most preferably of at least 3.7%o; and/or

at Condition E a conversion of at least 2%>, preferably of at least 2.5%, preferably of at least 3%, and most preferably of at least 3.2%.

[0052] In preferred embodiments, the ATA according to the invention is a derivative of SEQ ID NO:3 obtainable by protein engineering, i.e. the ATA accoding to the invention can preferably be regarded as an engineered ATA with respect to the wildtype of SEQ ID NO:3.

[0053] It has been surprisingly found that upon selective engineering, the characteristics of an ATA variant with respect to industrial use can be even further enhanced, and that ATA variants can be obtained that exhibit in comparison to the wildtype sequence of SEQ ID NO: 3

- an improved stereoselectivity, and/or

an increased thermostability, and/or

an increased conversion.

[0054] Therefore, in some embodiments the ATA according to the invention exhibits improved properties, e.g. conversion, thermostability, and/or stereoselectivity upon engineering of SEQ ID NO:3.

[0055] Preferably, with respect to SEQ ID NO:3 the ATA according to the invention is engineered in at least one or more positions such that

(A) the stereoselectivity of the engineered ATA is higher than that of the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3, in particular such that the stereoselectivity measured as an enantionmeric excess (%ee) is at least 50%oee, preferably alt least 60%>ee, more preferably at least 65%>ee, more preferably at least 70%oee, still more preferably at least 75%oee, still more preferably at least 80%oee, still more preferably at least 85%oee, still more preferably at least 90%ee, yet more preferably at least 91%ee, yet more preferably at least 92%ee, yet more preferably at least 93%ee, yet more preferably at least 94%ee, yet more preferably at least 95%ee, yet more preferably at least 96%ee, even more preferably at least 97%ee, most preferably at least 98%ee, and in particular at least 99%ee, and in particular at least 99.9%ee; and/or

(B) the thermostability of the engineered ATA is higher than that of the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3, in particular such that the ATA is stable at at least 65°C, more preferably at at least 70°C, still more preferably at at least 75°C, still more preferably at least 76°C, still more preferably at at least 77°C, still more preferably at at least 78°C, still more preferably at at least 79°C, still more preferably at at least 80°C, still more preferably at at least 81°C, still more preferably at at least 82°C, still more preferably at at least 83 °C, still more preferably at at least 84°C and most preferably at at least 85°C; and/or

(C) the conversion of the engineered ATA is higher than that of the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO:3., in particular such that the conversion rate

at Condition G is at least 5.0%, preferably at least 5.1%, at least 5.2%, at least 5.3%, at least 5.4%, at least 5.5%, at least 5.6%, at least 5.7%, at least 5.8%, at least 5.9%, at least 6%, at least 7%, at least 8%, at least 9%, at least 10%, at least 11%, at least 12%, or at least 13%, more preferably at least 14%, and most preferably at least 15%; and/or

at Condition H is at least 34%o, preferably at least 35%o, preferably at least 36%>, preferably at least 37%o, preferably at least 38%o, preferably at least 39%o, preferably at least 40%o, preferably at least 41%, preferably at least 42%o, preferably at least 43%o, preferably at least 44%o, preferably at least 45%o, preferably at least 46%>, preferably at least 47%o, preferably at least 48%o, preferably at least 49%o, preferably at least 50%o, preferably at least 51%, preferably at least 52%o, preferably at least 53%o, preferably at least 54%o, preferably at least 55%o, preferably at least 66%, preferably at least 67%>, preferably at least 58%o, preferably at least 59%), preferably at least 60%>, preferably at least 61%, preferably at least 62%o, preferably at least 63 %, preferably at least 64%o, preferably at least 65%o, preferably at least 66%o, preferably at least 67%o, preferably at least 68%o, preferably at least 69%o, more preferably at least 70%o, more preferably at least 80%o, more preferably at least 90%o, more preferably at least 95%o, more preferably at least 98%o, more preferably at least 99%o; and most preferably at least 99.9%o; and/or.

at Condition I is at least 30%o, preferably at least 35%o, preferably at least 40%o, preferably at least 45%o, preferably at least 46%o, preferably at least 47%o, preferably at least 48%o, preferably at least 49%o, preferably at least 50%o, preferably at least 51%, preferably at least 52%o, preferably at least 53%o, preferably at least 54%o, preferably at least 55%o, preferably at least 56%o, preferably at least 57%o, preferably at least 58%o, preferably at least 59%o, preferably at least 60%o, preferably at least 61%, preferably at least 62%o, preferably at least 63 %, preferably at least 64%o, preferably at least 65%o, preferably at least 66%o, preferably at least 67%o, preferably at least 68%o, preferably at least 69%o, preferably at least 70%o, preferably at least 71%, preferably at least 72%o, preferably at least 73%o, preferably at least 74%o, preferably at least 75%o, preferably at least 76%o, preferably at least 77%o, preferably at least 78%o, preferably at least 79%o, preferably at least 80%) preferably at least 81%, preferably at least 82%>, preferably at least 83 %, preferably at least 84%>, preferably at least 85%>, preferably at least 86%>, preferably at least 87%o, preferably at least 88%>, preferably at least 89%o, preferably at least 90%> preferably at least 91%, preferably at least 92%>, preferably at least 93%, preferably at least 94%, preferably at least 95%>, preferably at least 96%>, preferably at least 97%>, preferably at least 98%>, preferably at least 99%o, and most preferably at least 99.9%o; and/or

at Condition J is at least 30%>, preferably at least 35%>, preferably at least 40%, preferably at least 45%, preferably at least 50%>, preferably at least 55%>, preferably at least 60%>, preferably at least 65%>, preferably at least 70%>, preferably at least 75%>, preferably at least 76%>, preferably at least 77%o, preferably at least 78%>, preferably at least 79%o, preferably at least 80%> preferably at least 81%, preferably at least 82%>, preferably at least 83%o, preferably at least 84%>, preferably at least 85%>, preferably at least 86%>, preferably at least 87%o, preferably at least 88%o, preferably at least 89%o, preferably at least 90%> preferably at least 91%, preferably at least 92%>, preferably at least 93%o, preferably at least 94%o, preferably at least 95%>, preferably at least 96%>, preferably at least 97%o, preferably at least 98%o, preferably at least 99%o, and most preferably at least 99.9%o.

[0056] For the purpose of the specification, stereoselectivity is the property of a chemical reaction in which a single reactant forms an unequal mixture of stereoisomers during the non-stereospecific creation of a new stereocenter or during the non-stereospecific transformation of a pre-existing one. The selectivity typically arises from differences in steric effects and electronic effects in the mechanistic pathways leading to the different products. The enantiomeric excess (ee) of one chiral product over the other product obtained from an enzymatic reaction is a measure for the stereoselectivity of the enzyme, in particular of the ATA according to the invention:

[product(chiralityl)] -[product(chirality2)]

/οθθ = .

[product(chiralityl)] +[product(chirality2)]

[0057] The enantiomeric excess (expressed in per cent) is calculated as the difference between the quantity of two products with differing chirality (product(chirality 1), product(chirality2)) expressed as absolute value divided by the sum of the concentration of both products, multiplied by 100. Preferably, the conversion of a substrate into a chiral product under catalysis of the ATA according to the invention provides the desired chiral product with an enantiomeric excess of at least 50%oee, more preferably at least 60%>ee, more preferably at least 65%>ee, more preferably at least 70%oee, more preferably at least 75%oee, still more preferably at least 80%oee, still more preferably at least 85%oee, still more preferably at least 90%oee, yet more preferably at least 91%>ee, yet more preferably at least 92%oee, yet more preferably at least 93%oee, yet more preferably at least 94%oee, yet more preferably at least 95%oee, yet more preferably at least 96%>ee, even more preferably at least 97%oee, most preferably at least 98%oee, and in particular at least 99%oee, and in particular at least 99.9%oee.

[0058] An improved stereoselectivity according to the invention relates to an enantiomeric excess of the product provided by means of an engineered ATA which is higher than the enantiomeric excess of the product provided by means of the non-engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO:3. Preferably, the enantiomeric excess provided by an engineered ATA is increased by at least 0.1%>ee, at least 0.5%oee, at least l%>ee, at least 3%oee, at least 5%oee, at least 7%oee, at least 9%oee, at least l l%>ee, at least 13%oee, at least 15%oee, at least 17%oee, at least 19%oee, at least 21%>ee, at least 23%oee, at least 25%oee, at least 27%oee, at least 29%oee, at least 31%>ee, at least 32%oee, at least 33%oee, at least 34%oee, at least 35%oee, at least 36%>ee, at least at least 37%oee, at least 38%oee, at least 39%oee, at least 40%oee, at least 41%>ee, at least 42%oee, at least 43%oee, at least 44%oee, at least 45%oee, at least 46%>ee, at least 47%oee, at least 48%oee, at least 49%oee, at least 50%oee, at least 55%oee, or at least 60%>ee, at least 65%ee, at least 70%ee, at least 75%ee, at least 80%ee, at least 85%ee, at least 90%ee, at least 95%ee, at least 97%ee, at least 98%ee, at least 99%ee, or at least 99.5%ee and in particular at least 99.9%ee compared to the non-engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3 for a given substrate. The improved stereoselectivity may also mean that the engineered ATA does have a certain stereoselectivity towards the desired chiral product, whereas the non-engineered ATA has no significant stereoselectivity towards said chiral product. The improved stereoselectivity may also mean that the engineered ATA has a certain stereoselectivity towards one desired chiral product, whereas the non-engineered ATA has a stereoselectivity towards the reverse chiral product, e.g. the engineered ATA has a stereoselectivity for building an (R)-amine while the non-engineered ATA has a stereoselectivity for the (S)-amine and vice versa.

[0059] For the purpose of the specification, thermostability is the property of an enzyme to retain enzymatic activity upon incubation at high temperatures for a given time. The enzyme activity thereby can be determined at any assay conditions. For the purpose of this invention, the thermostability is expressed as Tm(80%) value, indicating the temperature at which an enzyme retains 80% of its in initial enzyme activity upon incubation in a given buffer system for 15 minutes at said temperature.

[0060] The thermostability of an ATA according to the invention, preferably the thermostability of the wild type ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3 or an engineered ATA according to this invention, is preferably determined by incubation of the ATA containing crude extract for 15 minutes at several given temperatures in a PCR cycler . One sample of each ATA crude extract is incubated for 15 minutes in ice as a reference. Afterwards all crude extracts are incubated on ice for 30 minutes. Insoluble proteins are separated by centrifugation and the supernatant is analyzed regarding its remaining ATA activity in the Transaminase Standard Assay as described in Example 2 monitoring the conversion of 1-phenylethan-l -amine (MBA) and pyruvate to 1 -phenylethanone (Acetophenone) and L-alanine.

[0061] An improved thermostability according to the invention relates to a higher Tm(80%) value of an engineered ATA in comparison to the non-engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3. Preferably, the Tm(80%) value is increased by at least 1°C, at least 2°C, at least 3°C, at least 4°C, at least 5°C, at least 6°C, at least 7°C, at least 8°C, at least 9°C, at least 10°C, at least 11°C, at least 12°C, at least 13°C, at least 14°C, at least 15°C, at least 16°C, at least 17°C, at least 18°C, at least 19°C, at least 20°C, at least 21°C, at least 22°C, at least 23 °C, at least 24°C, at least 25°C, and most prefrerably at least 30°C compared to the non-engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO:3.

[0062] For the purpose of the specification, the conversion of an enzyme according this invention is the yield of a given product after a given time in a reaction involving the enzyme. For the purpose of this invention, the conversion rate is expressed as X% conversion after a given time using 4-phenyl-2-butanone as substrate together with isopropylamine (IP A) or (S)- 1-phenylethan-l -amine (S-MBA) as amine donor to the corresponding product l-methyl-3-phenylpropylamine and acetone or 1 -phenylethanone (acetophenone) under a respective condition. While the conversion of a given ATA according this invention may deviate depending on different substrates used, the improved conversion of an engineered ATA according to this invention can be determined in either of the Transaminase Conversion Assay conditions Condition G (150 mM BA, 300 mM

IPA), Condition H (150 mM BA, 300 mM (S)-MBA), Condition I (150 mM BA, 1000 mM IPA) and/or Condition J (50 mM BA, 1000 mM IPA) as described in Example 6 below.

[0063] An improved conversion according to the invention relates to a conversion of an engineered ATA which is higher than the conversion of the non- engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3 under a respective Condition. Preferably, the conversion is either

under Condition G: at least 0.1%, preferably at least 0.2%, at 0.3%o, at least 0.4%, at least 0.5%, at least 1%, at least 1.5%, at least 2%, at least 2.5%, at least 3%, more preferably at least 3.5%, more preferably at least 4%, more preferably at least 4.5%, more preferably at least 5%, more preferably at least 6%, more preferably at least 7%, more preferably at least 8%, more preferably at least 9%, more preferably at least 10%, and most preferably at least 20%o higher than the conversion of the non-engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO:3, and/or

under Condition H: at least 0.1%, preferably at least 0.2%, at 0.3%, at least 0.4%, at least 0.5%, at least 1%, at least 1.5%, at least 2.5%, at least 5%, at least 7.5%, more preferably at least 10%, more preferably at least 12.5%, more preferably at least 15%, more preferably at least 17.5%, more preferably at least 20%o, more preferably at least 22.5%o, more preferably at least 25%o, more preferably at least 27.5%o, more preferably at least 30%), and most preferably at least 40%o higher than the conversion of the non-engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3; and/or

under Condition I: is at least 30%o, preferably at least 35%o, preferably at least 40%o, preferably at least 45%o, preferably at least 46%o, preferably at least 47%o, preferably at least 48%o, preferably at least 49%o, preferably at least 50%), preferably at least 51%, preferably at least 52%o, preferably at least 53%o, preferably at least 54%o, preferably at least 55%o, preferably at least 56%o, preferably at least 57%o, preferably at least 58%o, preferably at least 59%o, preferably at least 60%o, preferably at least 61%, preferably at least 62%o, preferably at least 63%o, preferably at least 64%o, preferably at least 65%o, preferably at least 66%o, preferably at least 67%o, preferably at least 68%), preferably at least 69%o, preferably at least 70%>, preferably at least 71%, preferably at least 72%>, preferably at least 73%>, preferably at least 74%>, preferably at least 75%>, preferably at least 76%>, preferably at least 77%o, preferably at least 78%o, preferably at least 79%o, preferably at least 80%o preferably at least 81%, preferably at least 82%o, preferably at least 83%o, preferably at least 84%o, preferably at least 85%o, preferably at least 86%), preferably at least 87%o, preferably at least 88%>, preferably at least 89%o, preferably at least 90%> preferably at least 91%, preferably at least 92%>, preferably at least 93 %, preferably at least 94%>, preferably at least 95%o, preferably at least 96%o, preferably at least 97%o, preferably at least 98%o, most preferably at least 99%o, higher than the conversion of the non-engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO:3; and/or

under Condition J: is at least 30%o, preferably at least 35%o, preferably at least 40%o, preferably at least 45%o, preferably at least 50%o, preferably at least 55%o, preferably at least 60%o, preferably at least 65%o, preferably at least 70%), preferably at least 75%>, preferably at least 76%>, preferably at least 77%>, preferably at least 78%>, preferably at least 79%o, preferably at least 80%> preferably at least 81%, preferably at least 82%>, preferably at least 83%o, preferably at least 84%o, preferably at least 85%o, preferably at least 86%o, preferably at least 87%o, preferably at least 88%o, preferably at least 89%o, preferably at least 90%o preferably at least 91%, preferably at least 92%o, preferably at least 93%o, preferably at least 94%o, preferably at least 95%o, preferably at least 96%o, preferably at least 97%o, preferably at least 98%o, most preferably at least 99%o higher than the conversion of the non-engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO:3.

[0064] For the purpose of the specification, "engineered ATA" refers to an ATA differing from the specified wildtype sequence, e.g. the non-engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO:3. Engineering can mean substitution of an amino acid residue of the specified wildtype sequence by another amino acid residue. In addition, engineering can also mean deletion of an amino acid residue of the specified wildtype sequence, or insertion of an amino acid residue into the specified wildtype sequence, or substitution of an amino acid residue of the specified wildtype sequence by more than a single other amino acid residues.

[0065] In a preferred embodiment, the engineered ATA according to the invention differs from the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO:3 by 1 to 70 amino acids, typically by 1 to 50 amino acids, more typically by 1 to 30 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 25 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 20 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 15 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 10 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 5 amino acids, and most typically by 1 to 4 amino acids.

[0066] In this regard, engineering means that one or more amino acids in a given position are substituted with any other proteinogenic amino acid selected from the group consisting of Ala, Arg, Asn, Asp, Cys, Gin, Glu, Gly, His, He, Leu, Lys, Met, Phe, Pro, Ser, Thr, Trp Tyr, and Val. In a preferred embodiment, the substitution does not alter the sequence length, i.e. a single amino acid residue is replaced by another single amino acid residue. However, it is also possible to delete one or more amino acid residues without replacement and/or to insert one or more amino acid residues.

[0067] In one specific embodiment, the engineered ATA according to the invention is a fragment of at least 380 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 400 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 420 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 425 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 430 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 435 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 440 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 445 amino acid residues, and most preferably at least 446 amino acids residues of the polypeptide of SEQ ID NO:3. In this regard, "fragment" refers to a consecutive subsequence of the respective SEQ ID NO:3, but that is shortened at the N-terminus and/or the C-terminus.

[0068] In principle, a substitution in any position of an enzyme may be a conservative substitution where such amino acid is substituted with an amino acid of comparable characteristics (e.g. substitution of a hydrophobic amino acid with another hydrophobic amino acid). In addition, a substitution in any position of an enzyme may be a non-conservative substitution where such amino acid is substituted with an amino acid of other characteristics (e.g. substitution of a hydrophobic amino acid with a hydrophilic amino acid).

[0069] The technique of enzyme engineering is reviewed in: S. Lutz, U. T. Bornscheuer, Protein Engineering Handbook, Wiley VCH, Weinheim, 2009.

[0070] Any substitution according to this invention excludes amino acid substitutions in positions of the ATA according to the invention, which are indispensable for the catalytic activity of the ATA, preferably position K284 of SEQ ID NO:3. It is furthermore known in the state of the art, that sequence positions participating in predictable protein structure elements, e.g. alpha helices, or beta sheets, or ionic interactions, are sensitive to mutagenesis and may require no substitution or only concomitant substitution with a counter -position.

[0071] In a preferred embodiment, the engineered ATA according to the invention differs from the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO:3 by 1 to 70 amino acids, typically by 1 to 50 amino acids, more typically by 1 to 30 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 25 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 20 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 15 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 10 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 5 amino acids, and most typically by 1 to 4 amino acids and in addition is a fusion protein of the amino acid sequence with any other amino acid, oligo- or polypeptide, which is fused to the N-terminus and/or the C-terminus.

[0072] In a preferred embodiment, the engineered ATA according to the invention is a fusion protein that comprises the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO:3 which differs by 1 to 70 amino acids, typically by 1 to 50 amino acids, more typically by 1 to 30 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 25 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 20 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 15 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 10 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 5 amino acids, and most typically by 1 to 4 amino acids, and additionally, at least 1 amino acid residues, at least 2 amino acid residues, at least 4 amino acid residues, at least 6 amino acid residues, at least 10 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 20 amino acid residues, even more preferably at least 30 amino acid residues, and most preferably at least 40 amino acid residues, independently selected from the group consisting of Ala, Arg, Asn, Asp, Cys, Gin, Glu, Gly, His, He, Leu, Lys, Met, Phe, Pro, Ser, Thr, Trp Tyr, and Val.

[0073] Preferably, the transaminase according to the invention comprises at least two substitutions selected from the group consisting of N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161Q, N161I, Y164L, Y164M, Y164A, Y164F, Y164I, and G51S.

[0074] Preferably, the transaminase according to the invention comprises a substitution selected from the group consisting of N161A, N161C, N161D, N161E, N161G, N161I, N161K, N161L, N161M, N161P, N161Q, N161R, N161S, N161T, N161V, N161W, and N161Y; more preferably selected from the group consisting of N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161Q, andN161I.

[0075] Preferably, the transaminase according to the invention comprises a substitution selected from the group consisting of Y164A, Y164C, Y164D, Y164E, Y164F, Y164G, Y164H, Y164I, Y164K, Y164L, Y164M, Y164N, Y164P, Y164Q, Y164R, Y164S, Y164T, Y164V, and Y164W; more preferably selected from the group consisting of Y164L, Y164M, Y164A, Y164F, and Y164I.

[0076] Preferably, the transaminase according to the invention comprises a substitution selected from the group consisting of G51A, G51C, G51D, G51E, G51F, G51H, G51I, G51K, G51L, G51M, G51N, G51P, G51Q, G51R, G51 S, 5 IT, G5 IV, G51 W, and G51 Y; more preferably G51 S.

[0077] The invention also relates to engineered ATA that differ from the amino acid sequence of the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO:3 by 1 to 70 residue changes, preferably by 1 to 50 residue changes, more preferably by 1 to 30 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 25 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 20 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 15 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 10 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 5 residue changes and most preferably by 1 to 4 residue changes, preferably including changes at one or more of the following positions of SEQ ID NO:3: N7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433.

[0078] Preferably, the engineered ATA according to the invention differs from the amino acid sequence of the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO:3 by 1 to 70, more preferably by 1 to 50, still more preferably by 1 to 30, even more preferably by 1 to 25, even more preferably by 1 to 20, even more preferably by 1 to 15, even more preferably by 1 to 10 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 5 residue changes and most preferably by 1 to 4 residue changes, preferably including one or more of the following residue changes: N7L, E9R, M16F, M16C, M16V, M16L, M16A, M16W, V29L, V29I, G33Y, Q44R, Q44N, Q44H, R45K, G51S, L53F, L53W, L53V, L53A, L53S, L53G, W54A, W54I, W54L, W54Y, W54S, W54C, W54F, W54V, A67N, A68P, A71G, L73M, F82V, F82A, F82G, F82L, F82Y, H87T H87N, V109I, Gl 14S, R140K, N146Y, N146D, N146S, G147S, Y148F, Y148S, Y148G, V151A, V151W, V151I, V151F, V151Y, V151S, N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161Q, N161I, Y164L, Y164M, Y164A, Y164F, Y164I, H165R, E222S, E222A, E222D, A227Y, A227V, A227I, A227G, A227F, A227M, G228A, G228I, V230A, V230G, V230I, V230L, V257A, V258I, V258A, A288G, Q300E, A349G, A353R, Q354F, Y366H, Y366F, M378L, M378V, M378I, M378F, M378Y, M378T, M378A, M378C, Q391K, Q391E, R415A, R415V, R415L, R415G, R415Y, R415T, R415C, I417T, I417C, I417F, I417V, I417Y, I417A, K420H, K420S, K420N, I422V, I422S, I422A, I422L, T430N, and E433D.

[0079] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least one or more positions selected from the group consisting of the positions N7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433.

[0080] More preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least one or more positions selected from the group consisting of the positions N7, E9, Ml 6, G33, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433.

[0081] Still more preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least one or more positions selected from the group consisting of the positions N7, E9, Ml 6, G33, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165,

E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, T430, and E433.

[0082] In particularly preferred embodiments, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least one or more positions such that it comprises at least one or more substitutions selected from the group consisting of

at position N7 substitution to N7L; and/or

at position E9 substitution to E9R; and/or

- at position M 16 substitution to M 16F, M 16C, M 16V, M 16L, M 16A, or M 16 W; preferably M 16C, M 16 W, or M16F; and/or

- at position V29 substitution to V29L or V29I; preferably V29L; and/or

at position G33 substitution to G33Y; and/or

- at position Q44 substitution to Q44R, Q44N, or Q44H; preferably Q44R or Q44N; and/or

at position R45 substitution to R45K; and/or

- at positionG51 substitution to G51 S; and/or

at position L53 substitution to L53F, L53 W, L53V, L53A, L53S, or L53G; and/or

- at position W54 substitution to W54A, W54I, W54L, W54Y, W54S, W54C, W54F, or W54V; preferably W54I, W54L, W54Y, or W54A; and/or

at position A67 substitution to A67N; and/or

at position A68 substitution to A68P; and/or

- at position A71 substitution to A71G; and/or

at position L73 substitution to L73M; and/or

- at position F82 substitution to F82V, F82A, F82G, F82L, or F82Y; and/or

at position H87 substitution to H87T or H87N; and/or

- at position V109 substitution to V109I; and/or

- at position Gl 14 substitution to Gl 14S; and/or

at position R140 substitution to R140K; and/or

- at position N 146 substitution to N 146Y, N 146D, or N 146S ; preferably, N146Y and/or

- at position G147 substitution to G147S; and/or

- at position Y148 substitution to Y148F, Y148S, or Y148G; and/or

- at position V151 substitution to V151A, V151W, V151I, V151F, V151Y, or V151S; and/or

- at position N161 substitution to N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161Q, or N161I; preferably N161M, N161Q, N161I, N161A, orN161F; and/or

- at position Y164 substitution to Y164L, Y164M, Y164A, Y164F, or Y164I; preferably Y164L, Y164F, Y164M orY164I; and/or

at position H 165 substitution to H 165R; and/or

at position E222 substitution to E222S, E222A, or E222D; and/or

- at position A227 substitution to A227Y, A227V, A227I, A227G, A227F, or A227M; preferably A227Y; and/or

at position G228 substitution to G228A, or G228I; preferably G228A; and/or

- at position V230 substitution to V230A, V230G, V230I, or V230L; preferably V230A; and/or

at position V257 substitution to V257A; and/or

at position V258 substitution to V258A or V258I; preferably V258I; and/or

at position A288 substitution to A288G; and/or

at position Q300 substitution to Q300E; and/or

at position A349 substitution to A349G; and/or

at position A353 substitution to A353R; and/or

at position Q354 substitution to Q354F; and/or

at position Y366 substitution to Y366H or Y366F; and/or

- at position M378 substitution to M378L, M378V, M378I, M378F, M378Y, M378T, M378A, or M378C; and/or

at position Q391 substitution to Q391K or Q391E; and/or

- at position R415 substitution to R415A, R415V, R415L, R415G, R415Y, R415T, or R415C; preferably R415A, R415V, or R415L; and/or

- at position 1417 substitution to I417T, I417C, I417F, 1417V, I417Y, or I417A; preferably 1417V, I417T, I417C, I417A, or I417F; and/or

- at position K420 substitution to K420H, K420S, or K420N; and/or

- at position 1422 substitution to I422V, I422S, I422A, I422L or I422C; preferably I422S, I422C, or I422V; more preferably I422S or I422C;

at position T430 substitution to T430N; and/or

at position E433 substitution to E433D.

[0083] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in

(I) at least one position selected from the group consisting of N7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, Gl 14, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433; and

(II) in addition in at least one other position selected from the group consisting of N7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433.

[0084] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in

(I) at least one position selected from the group consisting of M16, L53, W54, F82, N146, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, M378, R415, 1417, and 1422, ; and

(II) in addition in at least one other position selected from the group consisting of N7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433.

[0085] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in

(I) at least one position selected from the group consisting of M16, W54, N146, N161, Y164, A227, G228, V230, V258, R415, 1417, and 1422; and

(II) in addition in at least one other position selected from the group consisting of N7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433.

[0086] More preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in

(I) at least one position selected from the group consisting of M16, W54, N146, N161, Y164, A227, G228, V230, V258, R415, 1417, and 1422; and

(II) in addition in at least one other position selected from the group consisting of N7, E9, M16, G33, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433.

[0087] Still more preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in

(I) at least one position selected from the group consisting of M16, W54, N146, N161, Y164, A227, G228, V230, V258, R415, and 1417; and

(II) in addition in at least one other position selected from the group consisting of N7, E9, M16, G33, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, T430, and E433.

[0088] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least two positions selected from the group consisting of

- N161 as well as Y164;

- 1417 as well as 1422; and

- N146 as well as N161.

[0089] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least two positions such that it comprises

(i) at position N161 a substitution selected from the group consisting of N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161I, or N161Q; preferably N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Q, or N161I; more preferably N161M, N161Q, or N161I; as well as

at position Y164 a substitution selected from the group consisting of Y164L, Y164M, Y164A, Y164F, or Y164I; preferably Y164L, Y164M, Y164F or Y164I; and/or

(ii) at position 1417 a substitution selected from the group consisting of I417T, I417C, I417F, I417V, I417Y, or 1417 A; preferably I417T, I417C, I417F, 1417V, or 1417 A; more preferably 1417V, I417F, or 1417 A; as well as

at position 1422 a substitution selected from the group consisting of I422V, I422S, I422A, I422L, or I422C; preferably I422S, I422C, or I422V; more preferably I422S or I422C; and/or

(iii) at position N146 a substitution selected from the group consisting of N146Y, N146D, or N146S; preferably N146Y; as well as

at position N161 a substitution selected from the group consisting of N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161I, or N161Q; preferably N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Q, or N161I; more preferably N161M, N161Q, or N161I; and most preferably N161Q.

[0090] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least two positions such that it comprises at least two substitutions selected from the group consisting of the substitutions N161M as well as Y164L; N161I as well as Y164L; N161Q as well as Y164L; N161I as well as Y164M; N161M as well as Y164M; N161Q as well as Y164M; N161I as well as Y164F; N161M as well as Y164I; 1417V as well as I422S; 1417V as well as I422C; I417A as well as I422S; I417F as well as I422V; I417A as well as I422C; andN146Y as well as N161Q.

[0091] More preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least two positions such that it comprises at least two substitutions selected from the group consisting of the substitutions N161I as well as Y164L; N161M as well as Y164I; N161Q as well as Y164L; I417V as well as I422S; 1417V as well as I422C; I417A as well as I422S; and I417A as well as I422C.

[0092] Still more preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least two positions such that it comprises at least the two substitutions N161I as well as Y164L.

[0093] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in

(i) at least two positions selected from the group consisting of N161 as well as Y164; or 1417 as well as 1422; or N146 as well as N161; and

(ii) in addition in at least one other position selected from the group consisting of N7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433.

[0094] More preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in

(i) at least two positions selected from the group consisting of N161 as well as Y164; or 1417 as well as 1422; or N146 as well as N161; and

(ii) in addition in at least one other position selected from the group consisting of N7, E9, M16, G33, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161,

Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433.

[0095] Still more preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in

(i) at least two positions selected from the group consisting of N161 as well as Y164; or 1417 as well as 1422; or N146 as well as N161; and

(ii) in addition in at least one other position selected from the group consisting of N7, E9, M16, G33, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, T430, and E433.

[0096] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in

(i) at least two positions such that is comprises at least two substitutions selected from the group consiting of N146Y as well as N161Q; N161M as well as Y164L; N161I as well as Y164L; N161Q as well as Y164L; N161I as well as Y164M; N161M as well as Y164M; N161Q as well as Y164M; N161I as well as Y164F; N161M as well as Y164I; I417V as well as I422S; I417V as well as I422C; I417A as well as I422S; I417F as well as I422V; and I417A as well as I422C; preferably N146Y as well as N161Q; N161I as well as Y164L; N161M as well as Y164I; and N161Q as well as Y164L; I417V as well as I422S; 1417V as well as I422C; I417A as well as I422S; I417A as well as I422C; and

(ii) in addition in at least one other position such that is comprises at least one other substitution selected from the group consisting of

- N7L;

- E9R;

- M16F, M16C, M16V, M16L, M16A, or M16W; preferably M16C, M16W, or M16F

- V29L, or V29I; preferably V29L;

- G33Y;

- Q44R, Q44N, or Q44H; preferably Q44R or Q44N;

- R45K;

- G51S;

- L53F, L53W, L53V, L53A, L53S, or L53G;

- W54A, W54I, W54L, W54Y, W54S, W54C, W54F, or W54V; preferably W54I, W54L, W54Y, or W54A;

- A67N;

- A68P;

- A71G;

- L73M;

- F82V, F82A, F82G, F82L, or F82Y;

- H87T or H87N;

- V109I;

- G114S;

- R140K;

- N146Y, N146D, orN146S;

- G147S;

- Y148F, Y148S, orY148G;

- V151A, V151W, V151I, V151F, V151Y, or V151S;

- N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161Q, or N161I; preferably N161M, N161Q, N161I, N161A, or N161F, more preferably N161I, N161M, or N161Q;

- Y164L, Y164M, Y164A, Y164F, or Y164I; preferably Y164L, Y164F, Y164M or Y164I;

- H165R;

- E222S, E222A, or E222D;

- A227V, A227I, A227G, A227F, A227Y, or A227M; preferably A227Y

- G228A or G228I; preferably G228A;

- V230G, V230A, V230I, or V230L; preferably V230A;

- V257A;

- V258A or V258I; preferably V258I;

- A288G;

- Q300E;

- A349G;

- A353R;

- Q354F;

- Y366H orY366F;

- M378L, M378V, M378I, M378F, M378Y, M378T, M378A, or M378C;

- Q391Kor Q391E;

- R415A, R415V, R415L, R415G, R415Y, R415T, or R415C; preferably R415A, R415V, or R415L;

- I417T, I417C, I417F, 1417V, I417Y, or I417A; preferably 1417V, I417T, I417C, I417A, or I417F;

- K420H, K420S, or K420N;

- I422V, I422S, I422A, I422L or I422C; preferably I422S, I422C, or I422V; more preferably I422S or I422C;

- T430N; and/or

- E433D.

[0097] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least in three positions such that it comprises at least three substitutions, wherein

(i) the first substitution of said at least three substitutions is selected from the group consisting of N161I, N161M, andN161Q; preferably Nl 6 II; and

(ii) the second substitution of said at least three substitutions is selected from the group consisting of Yl 64L, and Y164I; and

(iii) the third substitution of said at least three substitutions is selected from the group consisting of N7L, E9R, M16F, M16W, V29L, V29I, G33Y, Q44R, Q44N, Q44H, R45K, G51S, W54A, A67N, A68P, A71G,

L73M, H87T, H87N, V109I, G114S, R140K, G147S, H165R, V230A, A288G, Q300E, A349G, A353R, Q354F, Y366H, Y366F, Q391K, Q391E, K420H, K420S, K420N, T430N, and E433D.

[0098] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least in four positions such that it comprises at least four substitutions, wherein

(i) the first substitution of said at least four substitutions is selected from the group consisting of N161I, N161M, andN161Q; and

(ii) the second substitution of said at least four substitutions is selected from the group consisting of Y164L, and Y164I; and

(iii) the third substitution of said at least four substitutions is selected from the group consisting of M16F, M16C, M16V, M16L, M16A, or M16W; preferably M16W or M16F; and

(iv) the fourth substitution of said at least four substitutions is selected from the group consisting of V230G, V230A, V230I, or V230L; preferably V230A.

[0099] Preferably, the ATA according to the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least one, two, three or four positions and is selected from the group of the following engineered sequences:

SEQ ID NO Number Mutations Mutation 1 Mutation 2 Mutation 3 Mutation 4

3 -- 4 1 M16F

5 1 M16C

6 1 M16V

7 1 M16L

8 1 M16A

9 1 M16W

10 1 L53F

11 1 L53W

12 1 L53V

13 1 L53A

14 1 L53S

15 1 L53G

16 1 W54A

17 1 W54I

18 1 W54L

19 1 W54Y

20 1 W54S

21 1 W54C

22 1 W54F

23 1 W54V

24 1 F82V

25 1 F82A

26 1 F82G

27 1 F82L

28 1 F82Y

29 1 N146Y

30 1 N146D

31 1 N146S

32 1 Y148F

33 1 Y148S

34 1 Y148G

1 V151A

1 V151W

1 V151I

1 V151F

1 V151Y

1 V151S

1 N161A

1 N161F

1 N161M

1 N161Y

1 N161Q

1 N161I

1 Y164L

1 Y164M

1 Y164A

1 Y164F

1 Y164I

1 E222S

1 E222A

1 E222D

1 A227Y

1 A227V

1 A227I

1 A227G

1 A227F

1 A227M

1 G228A

1 G228I

1 V230A

1 V230G

1 V230I

1 V230L

1 V257A

1 V258I

1 V258A

1 M378L

1 M378V

1 M378I

1 M378F

1 M378Y

1 M378T

1 M378A

1 M378C

1 R415A

1 R415V

1 R415L

1 R415G

1 R415Y

1 R415T

1 R415C

1 I417T

1 I417C

1 I417F

1 1417V

1 I417Y

1 I417A

1 I422V

1 I422S

1 I422A 94 1 I422L

95 1 I422C

96 2 1417V I422S

97 2 1417V I422C

98 2 I417A I422S

99 2 I417F I422V

100 2 I417A I422C

101 2 N161M Y164L

102 2 N161I Y164L

103 2 N161Q Y164L

104 2 N161I Y164M

105 2 N161M Y164M

106 2 N161Q Y164M

107 2 N161I Y164F

108 2 N146Y N161Q

109 3 G51S N161I Y164L

110 3 N161I Y164L A288G

111 3 A67N N161I Y164L

112 3 Q44R N161I Y164L

113 3 A68P N161I Y164L

114 3 N161I Y164L A349G

115 3 N161I Y164L T430N

116 3 N161I Y164L K420H

117 3 N161I Y164L Q300E

118 3 L73M N161I Y164L

119 3 G33Y N161I Y164L

120 3 N161I Y164L K420S

121 3 Q44N N161I Y164L

122 3 N161I Y164L K420N

123 3 R45K N161I Y164L

124 3 N161I Y164L Q391K

125 3 N161I Y164L Y366H

126 3 N161I Y164L Q354F

127 3 N161I Y164L E433D

128 3 N161I Y164L A353R

129 3 N161I Y164L Y366F

130 3 Q44H N161I Y164L

131 3 V29L N161I Y164L

132 3 H87T N161I Y164L

133 3 E9R N161I Y164L

134 3 G147S N161I Y164L

135 3 N7L N161I Y164L

136 3 R140K N161I Y164L

137 3 N161I Y164L H165R

138 3 H87N N161I Y164L

139 3 V29I N161I Y164L

140 3 A71G N161I Y164L

141 3 G114S N161I Y164L

142 3 V109I N161I Y164L

143 3 N161I Y164L Q391E

144 4 M16W N161I Y164L V230A

145 4 M16F N161M Y164I V230A

146 4 M16W W54A N161Q Y164L

[0100] Preferably, the ATA according to to the invention comprises an amino acid sequence of at least 85% homology, preferably at least 86%o or at least 87%o, more preferably at least 88%o or at least 89%o, still more preferably at least 90%o or at least 91%, yet more preferably at least 92%o or at least 93 %>, even more preferably at least 94% or at least 95%, most preferably at least 96%> or at least 97%o, and in particular at least 98%> or at least 99% to the SEQ ID NO:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57.58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, or 150.

[0101] In a preferred embodiment, the ATA according to the invention is a variant of the polypeptide of SEQ ID NO: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57.58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, or 150 comprising a substitution, deletion and/or insertion of 3 by 1 to 70 amino acids, typically by 1 to 50 amino acids, more typically by 1 to 30 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 25 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 20 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 15 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 10 amino acids, even more typically by 1 to 5 amino acids, and most typically by 1 to 4 amino acids.

[0102] In one specific embodiment, the engineered ATA according to the invention is a fragment of at least 380 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 400 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 420 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 425 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 430 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 435 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 440 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 445 amino acid residues, and most preferably at least 446 amino acids residues of the polypeptide of SEQ ID NO: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57.58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, or 150. In this regard, "fragment" refers to a consecutive subsequence of the respective SEQ ID NO but that is shortened at the N-terminus and/or the C-terminus.

[0103] In a preferred embodiment, the ATA according to the invention is a fusion protein of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57.58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134,

135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, or 150 with any other amino acid, oligo- or polypeptide, which is fused to the N-terminus and/or the C-terminus.

[0104] In a preferred embodiment, the ATA according to the invention is a fusion protein that comprises the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57.58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, or 150 and additionally at least 1 amino acid residues, at least 2 amino acid residues, at least 4 amino acid residues, at least 6 amino acid residues, at least 10 amino acid residues, more preferably at least 20 amino acid residues, even more preferably at least 30 amino acid residues, and most preferably at least 40 amino acid residues, independently selected from the group consisting of Ala, Arg, Asn, Asp, Cys, Gin, Glu, Gly, His, He, Leu, Lys, Met, Phe, Pro, Ser, Thr, Trp Tyr, and Val.

[0105] In another preferred embodiment the ATA of the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least one or more positions selected from the group consisting of the positions N7, E9, Ml 6, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433, and exhibits a stereoselectivity that is higher than that of the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3 as described above.

[0106] Preferably, the ATA of the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least one or more positions selected from the group consisting of the positions N7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, Gl 14, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433, and exhibits a stereoselectivity that is higher than that of the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3 as described above, and is slelected from the group of engineered ATA comprising SEQ ID NO: SEQ ID NO: 4, 5, 17, 18, 19, 47, 48, 55, 61, 68, 78, 79, 80, 85, 86, 87, 88, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 144, 145, or 146.

[0107] In another preferred embodiment the ATA of the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least one or more positions selected from the group consisting of the positions N7, E9, Ml 6, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433, and exhibits a thermostability that is higher than that of the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3 as described above.

[0108] Preferably, the ATA of the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least one or more positions selected from the group consisting of the positions N7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53,

W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, Gl 14, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433, and exhibits a thermostability that is higher than that of the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO:3 as described above, and is slelected from the group of engineered ATA comprising SEQ ID NO: 4, 16, 47, 48, 87, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, or 146.

[0109] In another preferred embodiment the ATA of the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least one or more positions selected from the group consisting of the positions N7, E9, Ml 6, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433, and exhibits a conversion that is higher than that of the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO:3. as described above.

[0110] In another preferred embodiment the ATA of the invention is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least one or more positions selected from the group consisting of the positions N7, E9, Ml 6, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433, and exhibits a conversion that is higher than that of the wildtype ATA of SEQ ID NO:3. as described above, and is slelected from the group of engineered ATA comprising SEQ ID NO: 47, 48, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, or 146.

[0111] Another aspect of the invention relates to ATAs which are obtained from the ATA of SEQ ID NO: 148, by engineering, but which are not identical to SEQ ID NO: 148.

[0112] Preferably, the engineered ATAs obtained from the ATA of SEQ ID NO: 148 according to the invention are capable of catalyzing the conversion of a ketone substrate according to general formula (I) as defined above to an amine product according to general formula (II) as defined above; and/or the preferably concomitant conversion of (ii) an amine cosubstrate according to general formula (III) as defined above to a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV) as defined above, or vice versa.

[0113] It has been surprisingly found that upon selective engineering of SEQ ID NO:148, the characteristics of the respective ATA can be further enhanced, and that ATA variants can be obtained that exhibit in comparison to the wildtype sequence of SEQ ID NO: 148

- a further improved stereoselectivity, and/or

a further increased thermostability, and/or

a further increased conversion; and/or

a shift in activity and/or conversion of substrate specificiy.

[0114] Preferably, the ATA of SEQ ID NO:148 of this embodiment of the invention is engineered in at least one or more positions preferably by 1 to 20 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 15 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 11 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 7 residue changes and most preferably by 1 to 4 residue changes, preferably including changes at one or more of the following positions of SEQ ID NO:148: V13, E15, M22, F25, P35, T39, D48, T50, R51, N57, L59, Y60, A73, A74, E77, L79, T88, V93, VI 15, T120, L140, H146, D147, Y148, W151, L161, Y164, P195, E237, A242, G243, S244, A245, N268, V271, L272, S302, K314, V328, K358, E362, Y363, H375, L387, T409, H410, K424, G434, V436, M437, T440, R442, and S450.

[0115] Preferably, the ATA of SEQ ID NO:148 of this embodiment of the invention is engineered in at least one or more positions preferably by 1 to 20 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 15 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 11 residue changes, even more preferably by 1 to 7 residue changes and most preferably by 1 to 4 residue changes, preferably including changes at one or more of the following positions of SEQ ID NO:148: V13, E15, M22, F25, P35, T39, D48, T50, R51, N57, L59, Y60, A73, A74, E77, L79, T88, V93, VI 15, T120, L140, H146, D147, Y148, W151, L161, Y164, P195, E237, A242, G243, S244, A245, N268, V271, L272, S302, K314, V328, K358, E362, Y363, H375, L387, T409, H410, K424, G434, V436, M437, T440, R442, and S450 with substitution of any of the amino acids of these positions with any other proteinogenic amino acid selected from the group consisting of Ala, Arg, Asn, Asp, Cys, Gin, Glu, Gly, His, He, Leu, Lys, Met, Phe, Pro, Ser, Thr, Trp Tyr, and Val.

[0116] More preferably, the ATA of SEQ ID NO:148 of this embodiment of the invention is engineered such that it comprises at least one or more substitutions selected from the group consisting of

in position VI 3 substitution to VI 3L; and/or

in position El 5 substitution to E15R; and/or

in position M22 substitution to M22F, M22C, M22V, M22L, M22A, or M22W; and/or

in position F25 substitution to F25L; and/or

in position P35 substitution to P35L or P35I; and/or

in position T39 substitution to T39Y; and/or

in position D48 substitution to D48G; and/or

in position T50 substitution to T50R, T50N, or T50H; and/or

in position R51 substitution to R5 IK; and/or

in position N57 substitution to N57S; and/or

- in position L59 substitution to L59F, L59W, L59V, L59A, L59S, or L59G; and/or

- in position Y60 substitution to Y60A, Y60I, Y60L, Y60F, or Y60V; and/or

in position A73 substitution to A73N; and/or

in position A74 substitution to A74P; and/or

in position E77 substitution to E77G; and/or

in position L79 substitution to L79M; and/or

- in position T88 substitution to T88V, T88A, T88G, T88L, or T88Y; and/or

in position Y93 substitution to Y93T or Y93N; and/or

in position VI 15 substitution to VI 151; and/or

in position T120 substitution to T120S; and/or

in position LI 40 substitution to L140K; and/or

in position H146 substitution to H146Y, H146D, or H146S; and/or

in position D147 substitution to D147S; and/or

- in position Y148 substitution to Y148F, Y148S, or Y148G; and/or

- in position Wl 51 substitution to W151A, W151I, W151F, W151Y, or W151S; and/or

in position L161 substitution to L161A, L161F, L161M, L161Y, L161I, or L161Q; and/or in position Y164 substitution to Y164F or Y164M; and/or

in position P195 substitution to P195S; and/or

- in position E237 substitution to E237S, E237A, or E237D; and/or

in position A242 substitution to A242V, A242Y, or A242G; and/or

in position G243 substitution to G243 A or G243 ; and/or

- in position S244 substitution to S244A, S244G, S244I, or S244L; and/or

in position A245 substitution to S245T; and/or

in position F255 substitution to F255L; and/or

in position N268 substitution to N268A; and/or

in position V271 substitution to V271 A; and/or

in position L272 substitution to L272I or L272A; and/or

in position S302 substitution to S302G; and/or

in position K314 substitution to K314E; and/or

in position V328 substitution to V328G; and/or

in position K358 substitution to K358E; and/or

in position E362 substitution to E362R; and/or

in position Y363 substitution to Y363F; and/or

in position H375 substitution to H375F; and/or

- in position L387 substitution to L387V, L387I, L387F, L387Y, L387T, L387A, or L387C; and/or in position T409 substitution to T409R; and/or

in position H410 substitution to H41 OK or H410E; and/or

in position K424 substitution to K424E; and/or

- in position G434 substitution to G434A, G434V, G434L, G434Y, G434T, or G434C; and/or

in position V436 substitution to V436A; and/or

- in position M437 substitution to M437T, M437C, M437F, M437V, M437Y, or M437A; and/or

- in position T440 substitution to T440H, T440S, or T440N; and/or

- in position R442 substitution to R442V, R442S, R442A, R442L, or R442C; and/or

in position S450 substitution to S450N.

[0117] More preferably, the ATA of SEQ ID NO:148 of this embodiment of the invention is engineered in at least one or more positions of SEQ ID NO: 148 selected from the group comprising positions M22, F25, T39, D48, T50, Y60, A73, V93, H146, L161, Y164, P195, A242, G243, S244, A245, F255, N268, V328, T409, K424, G434, V436, M437, T440, and R442.

[0118] Even more preferably, the ATA of SEQ ID NO:148 of this embodiment of the invention is engineered in at least one or more positions of SEQ ID NO: 148 selected from the group comprising positions F25, D48, Y164, P195, A242, A245, F255, N268, V328, T409, K424, and V436.

[0119] Most preferably, the ATA of SEQ ID NO: 148 of this embodiment of the invention is engineered in the positions

- D48, Y164, P195, A242, A245, F255, N268, T409, K424, and/or V436; preferably D48G, Y164F, P195S, A242V, A245T, F255L, N268A, T409R, K424E, and/or V436A; and/or

F255, and V328, preferably F255L and/or V328G; and/or

- F25, Y164, and/or F255; preferably F25L, Y164M, and/or F255L.

[0120] Preferably, the engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO: 148 according to the invention comprises an amino acid sequence of at least 50% homology, preferably at least 55%>. more preferably at least 60%>, even more preferably at least 70%o, still more preferably at least 80%o, yet more preferably at least 90%o homology, yet more preferably at least 91% homology, yet more preferably at least 92%o homology, yet more preferably at least 93 %> homology, yet more preferably at least 94%o homology, yet more preferably at least 95%> homology, yet more preferably at least 96%> homology, yet more preferably at least 97%o homology, yet more preferably at least 98%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99.1%> homology, yet more preferably at least 99.2%) homology, yet more preferably at least 99.3%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99.4% homology, yet more preferably at least 99.5%> homology, yet more preferably at least 99.6%> homology, yet more preferably at least 99.7%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99.8%o homology, or at least 99.9%o, homology to SEQ ID NO:147, SEQ ID NO:148, SEQ ID NO:149, and/or SEQ ID NO:150. As far as SEQ ID NO:148 is concerned, however, the homology must not be 100%o.

[0121] More preferably, the ATA of SEQ ID NO:148 of this embodiment of the invention is engineered in at least one or more positions of SEQ ID NO: 148 selected from the group comprising positions M22, F25, T39, D48, T50, Y60, A73, V93, H146, L161, Y164, P195, A242, G243, S244, A245, F255, N268, V328, T409, K424, G434, V436, M437, T440, and R442; and comprises an amino acid sequence of at least 50%> homology, preferably at least 55%>. more preferably at least 60%>, even more preferably at least 70%o, still more preferably at least 80%), yet more preferably at least 90%o homology, yet more preferably at least 91%o homology, yet more preferably at least 92%o homology, yet more preferably at least 93 %> homology, yet more preferably at least 94%o homology, yet more preferably at least 95%> homology, yet more preferably at least 96%> homology, yet more preferably at least 97%o homology, yet more preferably at least 98%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99.1%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99.2%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99.3%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99.4%> homology, yet more preferably at least 99.5%> homology, yet more preferably at least 99.6%> homology, yet more preferably at least 99.7%> homology, yet more preferably at least 99.8% homology, or at least 99.9%, homology to SEQ ID NO: 147, SEQ ID NO: 148,

SEQ ID NO:149, and/or SEQ ID NO:150. As far as SEQ ID NO:148 is concerned, however, the homology must not be 100%..

[0122] Even more preferably, the ATA of SEQ ID NO:148 of this embodiment of the invention is engineered in at least one or more positions of SEQ ID NO: 148 selected from the group comprising positions F25, D48, Y164, P195, A242, A245, F255, N268, V328, T409, K424, and V436; and comprises an amino acid sequence of at least 50%> homology, preferably at least 55%>. more preferably at least 60%>, even more preferably at least 70%>, still more preferably at least 80%o, yet more preferably at least 90%o homology, yet more preferably at least 91% homology, yet more preferably at least 92%o homology, yet more preferably at least 93 %> homology, yet more preferably at least 94%o homology, yet more preferably at least 95%> homology, yet more preferably at least 96%> homology, yet more preferably at least 97%o homology, yet more preferably at least 98%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99.1%> homology, yet more preferably at least 99.2%) homology, yet more preferably at least 99.3%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99.4% homology, yet more preferably at least 99.5%> homology, yet more preferably at least 99.6%> homology, yet more preferably at least 99.7%o homology, yet more preferably at least 99.8%o homology, or at least 99.9%o, homology to SEQ ID NO:147, SEQ ID NO:148, SEQ ID NO:149, and/or SEQ ID NO:150. As far as SEQ ID NO:148 is concerned, however, the homology must not be 100%o.

[0123] In a specific embodiment of this invention, any engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO:148 of this embodiment in comparison to the non-engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO: 148

- provides an improved stereoselectivity of at least 35%>, preferably at least 40%o, preferably at least 45%>, preferably at least 50%>, preferably at least 55%>, preferably at least 60%>, preferably at least 65%>, preferably at least 70%o, preferably at least 75%>, preferably at least 80%o, preferably at least 85%>, preferably at least 90%), preferably at least 95%>, preferably at least 98%o, preferably at least 99%o, preferably at least 99.5%>, and most preferably at least 99.9%o; and/or

- provides a thermostabilityof at least 65°C, more preferably at at least 70°C, still more preferably at at least 75°C, still more preferably at least 80°C, and most preferably at at least 85°C; and/or

- provides a further increased conversion of referably at least 35%>, preferably at least 40%o, preferably at least 45%>, preferably at least 50%>, preferably at least 55%>, preferably at least 60%>, preferably at least 65%>, preferably at least 70%o, preferably at least 75%>, preferably at least 802%o, preferably at least 85%>, preferably at least 90%o, preferably at least 55%>, preferably at least 95%>, and most preferably of at least 99%o; and/or

- provides an improved conversion and an increased substrate specificity for of substrate specificity and/or activity for (R)-phenylacetylcarbinol, 1 -phenyl- 1 -butanone, 2 -methyl- 1 -phenyl- 1-propanone, 1 -phenyl- 1- pentanone, methyl-3-oxo-3-phenylpropanoate, and/or methyl 3-oxo-3-phenyl-butyrate.

[0124] Another aspect of the invention relates to a method for for the conversion of

(i) a ketone substrate according to general formula (I) as described above to an amine product according to general formula (II) as described above;

and/or the preferably concomittant conversion of

(ii) an amine cosubstrate according to general formula (III) as described above to a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV) as described above,

or vice versa;

wherein the amine product according to general formula (II) preferably has (S)-configuration or (Reconfiguration; and

wherein the method comprises the step of reacting a ketone substrate according to general formula (I) and/or an amine product according to general formula (II) and/or an amine cosubstrate according to general formula (III) and/or a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV) in the presence of an ATA according to the invention.

[0125] Preferably, the invention relates to a method for for the stereoselective conversion of

(i) a ketone substrate according to general formula (I) as described above to a chiral amine product according to general formula (II) as described above;

and/or the preferably concomittant conversion of

(ii) a chiral or non-chiral amine cosubstrate according to general formula (III) as described above to a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV) as described above,

or vice versa;

wherein the chiral amine product according to general formula (II) preferably has (S)-configuration or (Reconfiguration; and

wherein the method comprises the step of reacting a ketone substrate according to general formula (I) and/or a chiral amine product according to general formula (II) and/or a chiral or non-chiral amine cosubstrate according to general formula (III) and/or a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV) in the presence of an ATA according to the invention.

[0126] Another aspect of the invention relates to the use of an ATA according to the invention as described above for the amidation of a keto group in any possibile direction, preferably in the method according to the invention as described above.

[0127] Preferably, the invention relates to the use of an ATA according to the invention as described above for the conversion of

(i) a ketone substrate according to general formula (I) as described above to an amine product according to general formula (II) as described above;

and/or the preferably concomittant conversion of

(ii) an amine cosubstrate according to general formula (III) as described above to a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV) as described above,

or vice versa;

wherein the amine product according to general formula (II) preferably has (S)-configuration or (Reconfiguration.

[0128] Preferably, the invention relates to the use of an ATA according to the invention as described above for the stereoselective conversion of

(i) a ketone substrate according to general formula (I) as described above to a chiral amine product according to general formula (II) as described above;

and/or the preferably concomittant conversion of

(ii) a chiral or non-chiral amine cosubstrate according to general formula (III) as described above to a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV) as described above,

or vice versa;

wherein the chiral amine product according to general formula (II) has (S)-configuration or (R)-configuration.

[0129] Particularly preferred embodiments Emb-1 to 15 of the invention are summarized hereinafter: Emb-1: A transaminase comprising an amino acid sequence with at least 75% homology to SEQ ID NO:3. Emb-2: The transaminase according to Emb-1, which is capable of catalyzing the conversion of (i) a ketone substrate according to general formula (I)


(I) to an amine product according to general formula (II)


(II); and/or the preferably concomittant conversion of (ii) an amine cosubstrate according to general formula (III)


(III) to a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV)


(IV);

or vice versa; wherein X and Y as well as A and B, in either case, independently of one another, are selected from saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic or alicyclic Ci-12-hydrocarbon residues; unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted C6-io-aromatic hydrocarbon residues, optionally being bridged through a saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic Ci-12-hydrocarbon residue; unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted heteroaromatic hydrocarbon residues, optionally being bridged through a saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic Ci-12-hydrocarbon residue; and sugar residues or desoxysugar residues in each case comprising mono-, di- or oligosaccharides; wherein one of residues X or Y, as well as one of residues A or B, in either case, independently of one another, may be hydrogen; wherein mono- or polysubstituted means independently substituted with one or more functional groups selected from -halo, -OH, =0, -OCi-12-alkyl, -OC6-io-aryl, -O-heteroaryl, -OCOCi-12-alkyl, -OCOCe-io-aryl, -OCO-heteroaryl, -SH, -SCi-12-alkyl, -SC6-io-aryl, -S-heteroaryl,
-NO, -NO2, -N3, -NH2, -NH(Ci-i2-alkyl), -N(Ci-i2-alkyl)2, -NH(C6-io-aryl), -N(C6-io-aryl)2, -NH(heteroaryl), -N(heteroaryl)2, -CN, -CHO, -CO2H, CO-Ci-2-alkyl, -CO-C6-io-aryl and -CO-heteroaryl. Emb-3: The transaminase according to Emb-1 or 2, which is characterized by either (A) a temperaturestability of at least 50 °C, preferably 55°C, and most preferably of 60°C, and/or (B) a specific activity of at least 0.5 U/mg, preferably, 075 U/mg, more preferably of 1 U/mg, and most preferably at 1, 1 U/mg in Transaminase Standard Assays; and/or (C) a high conversion activity under different reaction conditions involving high amine concentrations. Emb-4: The transaminase according to any of the preceding Embs, which is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least one or more positions such that (A) the stereoselectivity of the engineered transaminase is higher than that of the wildtype transaminase of SEQ ID NO:3; and/or (B) the thermostability of the engineered transaminase is higher than that of the wildtype transaminase of SEQ ID NO:3; and/or (C) the conversion of the engineered transaminase is higher than that of the wildtype transaminase of SEQ ID NO: 3. Emb-5: The transaminase according to any of the preceding Embs, which is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least one or more positions selected from the group consisting of the positions N7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, Gl 14, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433. Emb-6: The transaminase according to any of the preceding Embs, which is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in at least one or more positions such that it comprises at least one or more substitutions selected from the group consisting of N7L, E9R, M16F, M16C, M16V, M16L, M16A, M16W, V29L, V29I, G33Y, Q44R, Q44N, Q44H, R45K, G51S, L53F, L53W, L53V, L53A, L53S, L53G, W54A, W54I, W54L, W54Y, W54S, W54C, W54F, W54V, A67N, A68P, A71G, L73M, F82V, F82A, F82G, F82L, F82Y, H87T, H87N, V109I, G114S, R140K, N146Y, N146D, N146S, G147S, Y148F, Y148S, Y148G, V151A, V151W, V151I, V151F, V151Y, V151S, N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161Q, N161I, Y164L, Y164M, Y164A, Y164F, Y164I, H165R, E222S, E222A, E222D, A227Y, A227V, A227I, A227G, A227F, A227M, G228A, G228I, V230A, V230G, V230I, V230L, V257A, V258A, V258I, A288G, Q300E, A349G, A353R, Q354F, Y366H, Y366F, M378L, M378V, M378I, M378F, M378Y, M378T, M378A, M378C, Q391K, Q391E, R415A, R415V, R415L, R415G, R415Y, R415T, I417T, I417C, I417F, I417V, I417Y, I417A, K420H, K420S, K420N, I422V, I422S, I422A, I422L, I422C, T430N, and E433D. Emb-7: The transaminase according to any of the preceding Embs, which is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in (I) at least one position selected from the group consisting of Ml 6, W54, N146, N161, Y164, A227, G228, V230, V258, R415, 1417, and 1422; and (II) in addition in at least one other position selected from the group consisting of N7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430,

and E433. Emb-8: The transaminase according to any of the preceding Embs, which is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least two positions selected from the group consisting of N161 as well as Y164; 1417 as well as 1422; andN146 as well as N161. Emb-9: The transaminase according to any of the preceding Embs, which is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least two positions such that it comprises (i) at position N161 a substitution selected from the group consisting of N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161I, or N161Q; as well as at position Y164 a substitution selected from the group consisting of Y164L, Y164M, Y164A, Y164F, or Y164I; and/or (ii) at position 1417 a substitution selected from the group consisting of I417T, I417C, I417F, 1417V, I417Y, or I417A; as well as at position 1422 a substitution selected from the group consisting of 1422 V, I422S, I422A, I422L, or I422C; and/or (iii) at position N146 a substitution selected from the group consisting of N146Y, N146D, or N146S; as well as at position N161 a substitution selected from the group consisting of N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161I, or N161Q. Emb-10: The transaminase according to any of the preceding Embs, which is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least two positions such that it comprises at least two substitutions selected from the group consisting of the substitutions N161M as well as Y164L; N161I as well as Y164L; N161Q as well as Y164L; N161I as well as Y164M; N161M as well as Y164M; N161Q as well as Y164M; N161I as well as Y164F; N161M as well as Y164I; I417V as well as I422S; I417V as well as I422C; I417A as well as I422S; I417F as well as I422V; I417A as well as I422C; and N146Y as well as N161Q. Emb-11: The transaminase according to any of the preceding Embs, which is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in (i) at least two positions selected from the group consisting of N161 as well as Y164; or 1417 as well as 1422; or N 146 as well as N161; and (ii) in addition in at least one other position selected from the group consisting ofN7, E9, M16, V29, G33, Q44, R45, G51, L53, W54, A67, A68, A71, L73, F82, H87, V109, G114, R140, N146, G147, Y148, Y151, N161, Y164, H165, E222, A227, G228, V230, V257, V258, A288, Q300, A349, A353, Q354, Y366, M378, Q391, R415, 1417, K420, 1422, T430, and E433. Emb-12: The transaminase according to any of the preceding Embs, which is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO: 3 in (i) at least two positions such that is comprises at least two substitutions selected from the group consiting of N146Y as well as N161Q; N161M as well as Y164L; N161I as well as Y164L; N161Q as well as Y164L; N161I as well as Y164M; N161M as well as Y164M; N161Q as well as Y164M; N161I as well as Y164F; N161M as well as Y164I; I417V as well as I422S; I417V as well as I422C; I417A as well as I422S; I417F as well as I422V; and I417A as well as I422C; and (ii) in addition in at least one other position that is comprises at least one other substitution selected from the group consisting of N7L, E9R, M16F, M16C, M16V, M16L, M16A, M16W, V29L, V29I, G33Y, Q44R, Q44N, Q44H, R45K, G51S, L53F, L53W, L53V, L53A, L53S, L53G, W54A, W54I, W54L, W54Y, W54S, W54C, W54F, W54V, A67N, A68P, A71G, L73M, F82V, F82A, F82G, F82L, F82Y, H87T, H87N, V109I, G114S, R140K, N146Y, N146D, N146S, G147S, Y148F, Y148S, Y148G, V151A, V151W, V151I, V151F, V151Y, V151S, N161A, N161F, N161M, N161Y, N161Q, N161I, Y164L, Y164M, Y164A, Y164F, Y164I, H165R, E222S, E222A, E222D, A227V, A227I, A227G, A227F, A227Y, A227M, G228A, G228I, V230G, V230A, V230I, V230L, V257A, V258A, V258I, A288G, Q300E, A349G, A353R, Q354F, Y366H, Y366F, M378L, M378V, M378I, M378F, M378Y, M378T, M378A, M378C, Q391K, Q391E, R415A, R415V, R415L, R415G, R415Y, R415T, R415C, I417T, I417C, I417F, I417V, I417Y, I417A, K420H, K420S, K420N, I422V, I422S, I422A, I422L, I422C, T430N, and E433D. Emb-13: The transaminase according to any of the preceding Embs, which is engineered compared to SEQ ID NO:3 in at least in three positions such that it comprises at least three substitutions, wherein (i) the first substitution of said at least three substitutions is selected from the group consisting of N161I, N161M, andN161Q; and (ii) the second substitution of said at least

three substitutions is selected from the group consisting of Y164L, and Y164I; and (iii) the third substitution of said at least three substitutions is selected from the group consisting of N7L, E9R, M16F, M16W, V29L, V29I, G33Y, Q44R, Q44N, Q44H, R45K, G51S, W54A, A67N, A68P, A71G, L73M, H87T, H87N, V109I, G114S, R140K, G147S, H165R, V230A, A288G, Q300E, A349G, A353R, Q354F, Y366H, Y366F, Q391K, Q391E, K420H, K420S, K420N, T430N, and E433D. Emb-14: The transaminase according to any of the preceding Embs, which comprises an amino acid sequence of at least 85% homology to the SEQ ID NO: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57.58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, or 150. Emb-15: A method for the conversion of (i) a ketone substrate according to general formula (I)


(I) to an amine product according to general formula (II)


(II); and/or the preferably concomittant conversion of (ii) a cosubstrate according to general formula (III)


(III) to a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV)


(IV); or vice versa; wherein X and Y as well as A and B, in either case, independently of one another, are selected from saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic or alicyclic C1-12-hydrocarbon residues; unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted C6-io-aromatic hydrocarbon residues, optionally being bridged through a saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic C1-12-hydrocarbon residue; unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted heteroaromatic hydrocarbon residues, optionally being bridged through a saturated or unsaturated, unsubstituted or mono- or polysubstituted aliphatic C1-12-hydrocarbon residue; and sugar residues or desoxysugar residues in each case comprising mono-, di- or oligosaccharides; wherein one of residues X or Y, as well as one of residues A or B, in either case, independently of one another, may be hydrogen; wherein mono- or polysubstituted means independently substituted with one or more functional groups selected from -halo, -OH, =0, -OCi-12-alkyl, -OC6-io-aryl, -O-heteroaryl, -OCOC1-12-alkyl, -OCOC6-io-aryl, -OCO-heteroaryl, -SH, -SCi-12-alkyl, -SCe-io-aryl, -S-heteroaryl, -S(=0)i-2OH, -NO, -

N02, -N3, -NH2, -NH(Ci-i2-alkyl), -N(Ci-i2-alkyl)2, -NH(C6-io-aryl), -N(C6-io-aryl)2, -NH(heteroaryl), -N(heteroaryl)2, -CN, -CHO, -CO2H, CO-Ci-2-alkyl, -CO-Ce-io-aryl and -CO-heteroaryl; wherein the method comprises the step of reacting a ketone substrate according to general formula (I) and/or an amine product according to general formula (II) and/or a amine cosubstrate according to general formula (III) and/or a ketone coproduct according to general formula (IV) in the presence of a transaminase according to any of Embs-1 to 14.

[0130] The following examples further illustrate the invention but are not to be construed as limiting its scope.

Example 1: Identification of a new ATA gene corresponding to SEQ ID NO:l

[0131] The gene of the new aminotransferase was detected during a screening for new aminotransferases by selective enrichment of wild type strains expressing aminotransferases. Soil samples from different habitats were randomly collected and five grams of each sample were suspended in 20 ml of 0.9% NaCl. A non-selective rich medium TSB (15 g/L peptone from casein, 5 g/L peptone from soymeal, 5 g/L NaCl) was inoculated by these suspensions and incubated at 30°C for several hours for obtaining a first pre-culture. This first pre-culture has been used to inoculate a second pre-culture in defined minimal medium MA (50 mM potassium phosphate pH 7, 100 mM glycerol, 0.2 mM CaCl2, 4 mM MgS04, 1 g/L NH4C1, 10 ml/L lOOx trace element stock solution [10 mg/L ZnCl2, 10 mg/ml MnS04 x 4 H20, 2 mg/L H3BO3, 10 mg/L CuS04 x 5 H20, 5 mg/L CoCl2, 10 mg/L N1SO4 x 6 H20, 200 mg/L Na2Mo04, 400 mg/L FeS04 x 7 H20]). After overnight cultivation this second pre-culture was washed with 0.9%o NaCl for remove of residual sources of nitrogen. The washed cells were used to inoculate a selective enrichment medium consisting of the defined minimal medium MA where the original nitrogen-source has been replaced by a collection of different amines (e.g. R/S-a-Methylbenzylamine or R/S-l-Methyl-3-phenylpropylamine). The amines have been added at concentrations of 50 mM. Enrichment has been ensured by repetitive dilution of grown culture into new enrichment medium. After third dilution of enriched cultures, the enriched cells were plated on agar plates containing enrichment medium MA with the respective nitrogen source in order to select single clones. Single clones have been further verified by liquid cultivation in enrichment medium as well as by direct detection of transaminase activity.

[0132] Transaminase activity was detected by culturing selected strains in 400 μΐ half concentrated LB medium for two days at 30°C. Cells were harvested by centrifugation and resuspended in 200 μΐ substrate solution consisting of 5 mM 4-phenyl-2-butanone, 100 mM 1 -phenylethan- 1 -amine (MBA), 50 mM potassium phosphate pH 7.4, and 1 mM pyridoxalphosphate. The reaction went overnight at 30°C, was stopped by adding 200 μΐ methanol, and analyzed by HPLC as described in Example 3.

[0133] Identification of the corresponding transaminase genes, genomic libraries have been built from active strains. The DNA of selected microorganisms grown in a 96-well format was isolated, mechanically fragmented to the desired size range, and cloned into pF2F4 (WO2010/075956 Al). The resulting plasmids were transformed to E. coli BL21(DE3)placI(+) cells. Screening of the library was done with cluster screening (WO2005/040376 A2) with cluster sizes of about 300, 000 to 350, 000 clones per plate also by selective enrichment.

[0134] For expression of the genomic library cells were cultivated in defined minimal medium supplemented with kanamycin (50 mg/1) and chloramphenicol (34 mg/1)). Expression of the genes of the genomic library was induced at logarithmic phase either by IPTG (0.5 mM) or arabinose (0.1 (v/v)). Cultivations were carried out at 30°C for 16 hours after which cells were washed wit 0.9% NaCl remove the residual sources of nitrogen. Washed cells were cultivated in defined minimal medium with the original nitrogen-source being replaced by the respective amine for enrichment. Enrichment was accomplished in three repetitive dilutions. After third dilution plasmids have been purified from grown enriched cultures and the transaminase gene sequences have been determined.

Example 2: Expression of a new ATA gene corresponding to SEQ ID NO:l and 2

[0135] The newly found ATA gene sequences corresponding to SEQ ID NO:l was codon optimized for E. coli expression while simultaneously decreasing the GC-content, corresponding to SEQ ID NO:2. Both genes according to SEQ ID NO:l and SEQ ID NO:2 were cloned into the expression vector pLElA17 (derivative of pRSF-lb, Novagen). The resulting plasmids were used for transformation of E. coli BL21(DE3) cells.

[0136] For expression of the new ATA corresponding to SEQ ID NO:l and SEQ. ID NO:2 cells were cultivated in ZYM505 medium (F. William Studier, Protein Expression and Purification 41 (2005) 207-234) supplemented with kanamycin (50 mg/1) at 37°C. Expression of the gene was induced at logarithmic phase by IPTG (0.1 mM) and carried out at 30°C for 16-18 hours.

[0137] Cells were harvested by centrifugation (3220 x g, 20 min, 4°C) and disrupted by resuspending corresponding to an optical density, measured at 600nm (OD600) of 100 with cell lysis buffer (50 mM Tris-HCl pH 7.0; 2 mM MgC12, lx CelLytic B (Sigma); DNA nuclease 0.02 U, lysozyme 0.5 mg/ml). The crude extracts were separated from cell debris by centrifugation (3220 x g 30 min, 4°C), resulting in enzymatic active preparations of the ATA of SEQ ID NO: 3. For detection of the enzymatic activity of an ATA of the invention, a lyophilisate of the active preparation of the ATA may be obtained.The crude extract lyophilisate was investigated regarding the ATA activity using the Transaminase Standard Assay.

[0138] The Transaminase Standard Assay monitors the conversion of racemic 1 -phenylethan- 1 -amine (MBA) and pyruvate to 1 -phenylethanone (Acetophenone) and L-alanine. The reaction is performed at 30°C in 50 mM phosphate buffer (pH 7, 4) and 0.1 mM pyridoxalphosphate (PLP) using 10 mM racemic 1 -phenylethan- 1 -amine and 10 mM sodium-pyruvate as substrates. The production of 1 -phenylehanone is followed photometrically at 300 nm. One unit (U) liberates 1 μηιοΐ 1 -phenylethanone (Acetophenone) per minute. Specific activity refers to units per milligram crude extract lyophilisate (U/mg)

Example 3: Characterization of Enzymatic Properties of new ATA of SEQ ID NO:3

[0139] An enzymatic active preparation of ATA of SEQ ID NO:3 was prepared as described in Example 2. For comparison of its enzymatic properties, enzymatic active preparations of several other omega-transaminases were prepared in a similar way. These include omega-transaminase well known in the literature (J. S. Shin et al., Appl.Microbiol.Biotechnol. 2003, 61 463-471. WO 2010/081053. J. H. Seo, et al. Biotechnol. J 3 (5):676-686, 2008. S. Schatzle, et al. Anal.Chem. 81 (19):8244-8248, 2009.).

[0140] The enzymatic activity of these enzymes was analyzed with the Transaminase Standard Assay as described in Example 2. Furthermore, the thermostability of each enzyme was analyzed as described in Example 5.


[0141] Additionally the conversion properties of these enzymes were investigated in Transaminase Conversion Assays.

[0142] Transaminase Conversion Assays monitors enzyme properties at different reaction conditions that are relevant for a preparative synthesis application at high concentration of different amine donors, isopropylamine (IP A), racemic 1 -phenylethan- 1 -amine (MBA) or (5)-l-phenylethan-l-amine (S-MBA) or racemic alanine, respectively. The ketone acceptor was 4-phenyl-2-butanone (BA). The reaction was performed at 30°C in 50 mM phosphate buffer (pH 7, 4) and 0.1 mM pyridoxalphosphate (PLP).

[0143] Conversion from BA to l-methyl-3-phenylpropylamine was analyzed by HPLC after a given time of reaction, typically 6h or 20h. Analytical conditions are:

Column: Gemini 5μ C18, 150x4.6 mm (Phenomenex);

Eluents: A) dH20, 0.1% trifluoroacetic acid (TFA); B) Acetonitrile, 0.1% TFA;

Flow: 1 ml/min; gradient: 20%o B to 80%o B in 6 min, hold for 1 min, to 20%o B in 1 min, hold for 3 min; Oven temperature: 35 °C;

Detection: 210 nm.

The retention times of the analytes are 6.52 min for BA and 3.65 min for l-methyl-3- phenylpropylamine.

[0144] Overall, Transaminase Conversion Assays may be done at conditions differing in the type of amine donor (IP A, MBA, and alanine) and the respective concentration of the reactants.

Condition A: 50 mM BA, 100 mM IPA; after 6h

Condition B: 50 mM BA, 200 mM rac. MBA; after 6h

Condition C: 50 mM BA, 500 mM IPA; after 6h

Condition D: 50 mM BA, 1000 mM rac. MBA; after 6h

Condition E: 50 mM BA, 200 mM rac. alanine; after 6h

Condition F: 10 mM BA, 50 mM IPA; after 6h

Condition G: 150 mM BA, 300 mM IPA; after 20h

Condition H: 150 mM BA, 300 mM (S)-MBA; after 20h

Condition I: 150 mM BA, 1000 mM IPA; after 20h

Condition J: 50 mM BA, 1000 mM IPA; after 20h

[0145] The transaminases under this example were analyzed at the Conditions A, B, C, D, and E.


[0146] Among the wild type enzymes analyzed, the new transaminase enzyme SEQ ID NO:3 shows the highest transaminase standard activity and the best properties with respect to substrate conversion at the different process relevant conditions.

Example 4: Analysis of stereoselectivity of engineered ATAs

[0147] Several ATA variants that had been engineered in comparison to SEQ ID NO: 3 were analyzed regarding their stereoselectivity in the formation of (S)-l-methyl-3-phenylpropylamine. For analysis of stereoselectivity, Transaminase Conversion Assays with each ATA were performed as described in Example 3 under Condition F.

[0148] The products were analyzed by chiral HPLC analysis. Analytical conditions are:

Column: chiralpak IB (Daicel);

Eluent: 98% n-hexane, 2 % isopropanol, 0.1% ethylenediamine;

Flow 1 ml/min;

Oven temperature: 35 °C;

Detection: 267 nm.

The retention times of the analytes are 5.6 min for (R)-l-methyl-3-phenylpropylamine and 5.9 min for (S)- 1 -methyl-3 -phenylpropylamine.

[0149] Calculation of the enantiomeric excess (%ee) of the (S) enantiomer is done by integrating the peak areas of the enantiomers using the formula:

%ee = [(S)enantiomer - (R)enantiomer] / [(S)enantiomer + (R)enantiomer]

[0150] It was found, that the engineered AT As showed an improved stereoselectivity in comparison to the wild type ATA SEQ ID No:3: The stereoselectivities of mutants are listed in the table below.


Example 5: Detection of thermostability of engineered AT As

[0151] Several ATA variants that had been engineered in comparison to SEQ ID NO: 3 were analyzed regarding their thermostability. Crude extracts of a respective ATA were obtained as described in Example 2. Melting profiles of these active enzymatic active preparations of a respective ATA were recorded by incubation the crude extract for 15 minutes at different temperatures in a PCR cycler. Afterwards the crude extracts were incubated on ice for 30 minutes. Insoluble proteins were separated by centrifugation and the supematants were analyzed regarding their remaining ATA activity in a Transaminase Standard Assay as described in Example 2.

[0152] Thermostability was expressed as the temperature at which 80 % of the initial activity of the ATA variant remains after 15 min of incubation [Tm(80%)]. The initial activity is the activity of the respective ATA variant without any high temperature treatment, i.e. with 15 min incubation on ice instead of incubation at different temperatures in a PCR cycler.

[0153] It was found, that the engineered ATAs showed an improved thermostability in comparison to the wild type ATA SEQ ID No: 3: The melting temperatures of mutants are listed in the table below.


Example 6: Evaluation for improved conversion under relevant process conditions

[0154] Several ATA variants that had been engineered in comparison to SEQ ID NO:3 were analyzed in Transaminase Conversion Assays for properties relevant for a preparative synthesis application at high concentration of amine donors, isopropylamine (IP A) andracemic 1-phenylethan-l -amine (MBA), respectively. Reactions were performed and analysed for conversion as described in Example 3, with analysis of conversion after a reaction time of 20h. For the reaction 20% of the total reaction volume was crude extract of the respective ATA, obtained as described in Example 2. Different Conditions were used varying the concentrations of reactants and type of amino donor as indicated for each table.

SEQ Number Mutation Mutation Mutation Mutation Conversion Conversion Condition H [%>]

ID Mutations 1 2 3 4 Condition G

NO [%]

3 -- 5 34

101 2 N161M Y164L 8 52

102 2 N161I Y164L 8 57

103 2 N161Q Y164L 9 53

104 2 N161I Y164M 6 44

105 2 N161M Y164M 8 51

106 2 N161Q Y164M 7 47

107 2 N161I Y164F 5 41

146 4 M16W W54A N161Q Y164L 6 37

SEQ ID NO Mutation 1 Mutation 2 Mutation 3 Conversion Condition I [%] Conversion Condition J [%]

3 0 0

102 N161I Y164L 49 89

109 G51S N161I Y164L 66 88

110 N161I Y164L A288G 68 78

111 A67N N161I Y164L 65 91

112 Q44R N161I Y164L 63 90

113 A68P N161I Y164L 47 86

114 N161I Y164L A349G 51 87

115 N161I Y164L T430N 51 88

116 N161I Y164L K420H 52 86

117 N161I Y164L Q300E 56 88

118 L73M N161I Y164L 58 90

119 G33Y N161I Y164L 56 89

120 N161I Y164L K420S 46 86

121 Q44N N161I Y164L 54 90

122 N161I Y164L K420N 45 86

123 R45K N161I Y164L 55 88

124 N161I Y164L Q391K 50 88

125 N161I Y164L Y366H 49 84

126 N161I Y164L Q354F 44 85

127 N161I Y164L E433D 57 92

128 N161I Y164L A353R 61 87

129 N161I Y164L Y366F 61 88

130 Q44H N161I Y164L 61 89

131 V29L N161I Y164L 59 87

132 H87T N161I Y164L 58 90

133 E9R N161I Y164L 57 88

134 G147S N161I Y164L 56 87

135 N7L N161I Y164L 55 88

136 R140K N161I Y164L 55 87

137 N161I Y164L H165R 54 88

138 H87N N161I Y164L 53 89

139 V29I N161I Y164L 53 92

140 A71G N161I Y164L 52 92

141 G114S N161I Y164L 51 88

142 V109I N161I Y164L 51 86

143 N161I Y164L Q391E 47 83

Example 7 Characterization of Enzymatic Properties of engineered ATA of SEQ ID NO:148

[0155] An enzymatic active preparation of ATA of SEQ ID NO: 148 and SEQ ID N0147 were prepared as described in Example 2. Analysis of their properties in the Transaminase Standard Assay has been shown in Example 3

[0156] Active enzyme preparations of SEQ ID NO:147 and SEQ ID NO:148 have been further subjected to Transaminase Conversion Assays as described in Example 3, but at conditions:

Condition K (100 mM BA; 500 mM rac. MBA), or

Condition L (200 mM BA; 500 mM rac. MBA), or

Condition M (lOg/L BA, 900 mM IPA)

Entry transaminase % conversion % conversion % conversion Tm(80%) ee%

origin cond. K cond. L cond. M [°C]

SEQIDNO:148 0.0 0.0 0.0 51

SEQIDNO:147 74 53 80 58 >99