Toward a sustainable synthesis of value-added chemicals, the method of CO2 utilization attracts great interest in chemical process engineering. Biotechnological CO2 fixation is a promising technology; however, efficient methods that can fix carbon dioxide are still limited. Instead, some parts of microbial decarboxylases allow the introduction of carboxy group into phenolic compounds using bicarbonate ion as a C1 building block. Here, we identified a unique decarboxylase from Arthrobacter sp. K8 that acts on resorcinol derivatives. A high-throughput colorimetric decarboxylase assay facilitated gene cloning of orsellinic acid decarboxylase from genomic DNA library of strain K8. Sequence analysis revealed that the orsellinic acid decarboxylase belonged to amidohydrolase 2 family, but shared low amino acid sequence identity with those of related decarboxylases. Enzymatic characterization unveiled that the decarboxylase introduces a carboxy group in a highly regio-selective manner. We applied the decarboxylase to enzymatic carboxylation of resorcinol derivatives. Using Escherichia coli expressing the decarboxylase gene as a whole cell biocatalyst, orsellinic acid, 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, and 4-methoxysalicylic acid were produced in the presence of saturated bicarbonate. These findings could provide new insights into the production of useful phenolic acids from resorcinol derivatives.
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