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The enzyme, characterized from the bacterium Arthrobacter sp. TS-15, acts on a broad range of different aryl-alkyl ketones, such as haloketones, ketoamines, diketones, and ketoesters. It exhibits a strict enantioselectivity and accepts various types of aryl groups including phenyl-, pyridyl-, thienyl-, and furyl-rings, but the presence of an aromatic ring is essential for the activity. In addition, the presence of a functional group on the alkyl chain, such as an amine, a halogen, or a ketone, is also crucial. When acting on diketones, it catalyses the reduction of only the keto group closest to the ring, with no further reduction to the diol. cf. EC 184.108.40.2062, pseudoephedrine dehydrogenase and EC 220.127.116.11, ephedrine dehydrogenase.
The expected taxonomic range for this enzyme is: Arthrobacter sp. TS-15