The rebinding kinetics of CO to protoheme (FePPIX) in the presence and absence of a proximal imidazole ligand reveals the magnitude of the rebinding barrier associated with proximal histidine ligation. The ligation states of the heme under different solvent conditions are also investigated using both equilibrium and transient spectroscopy. In the absence of imidazole, a weak ligand (probably water) is bound on the proximal side of the FePPIX-CO adduct. When the heme is encapsulated in micelles of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), photolysis of FePPIX-CO induces a complicated set of proximal ligation changes. In contrast, the use of glycerol-water solutions leads to a simple two-state geminate kinetic response with rapid (10–100 ps) CO recombination and a geminate amplitude that can be controlled by adjusting the solvent viscosity. By comparing the rate of CO rebinding to protoheme in glycerol solution with and without a bound proximal imidazole ligand, we find the enthalpic contribution to the proximal rebinding barrier, Hp, to be 11 ± 2 kJ/mol. Further comparison of the CO rebinding rate of the imidazole bound protoheme with the analogous rate in myoglobin (Mb) leads to a determination of the difference in their distal free energy barriers: ΔGD ≈ 12 ± 1 kJ/mol. Estimates of the entropic contributions, due to the ligand accessible volumes in the distal pocket and the xenon-4 cavity of myoglobin (~3 kJ/mol), then lead to a distal pocket enthalpic barrier of HD ≈ 9 ± 2 kJ/mol. These results agree well with the predictions of a simple model and with previous independent room-temperature measurements (Tian et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 1992, 68, 408) of the enthalpic MbCO rebinding barrier (18 ± 2 kJ/mol).
We have been developing the cellulases of Thermobifida fusca as a model to explore the conversion from a free cellulase system to the cellulosomal mode. Three of the six T. fusca cellulases (endoglucanase Cel6A and exoglucanases Cel6B and Cel48A) have been converted in previous work by replacing their cellulose-binding modules (CBMs) with a dockerin, and the resultant recombinant “cellulosomized” enzymes were incorporated into chimeric scaffolding proteins that contained cohesin(s) together with a CBM. The activities of the resultant designer cellulosomes were compared with an equivalent mixture of wild-type enzymes. In the present work, a fourth T. fusca cellulase, Cel5A, was equipped with a dockerin and intervening linker segments of different lengths to assess their contribution to the overall activity of simple one- and two-enzyme designer cellulosome complexes. The results demonstrated that cellulose binding played a major role in the degradation of crystalline cellulosic substrates. The combination of the converted Cel5A endoglucanase with the converted Cel48A exoglucanase also exhibited a measurable proximity effect for the most recalcitrant cellulosic substrate (Avicel). The length of the linker between the catalytic module and the dockerin had little, if any, effect on the activity. However, positioning of the dockerin on the opposite (C-terminal) side of the enzyme, consistent with the usual position of dockerins on most cellulosomal enzymes, resulted in an enhanced synergistic response. These results promote the development of more complex multienzyme designer cellulosomes, which may eventually be applied for improved degradation of plant cell wall biomass.
Polarization methods, introduced in the 1800’s, offered one of the earliest ways to examine protein structure. Since then, many other structure-sensitive probes have been developed, but circular dichroism (CD) remains a powerful technique because of its versatility and the specificity of protein structural information that can be explored. With improvements in time-resolution, from millisecond to picosecond CD measurements, it has proven to be an important tool for studying the mechanism of folding and function in many biomolecules. For example, nanosecond time-resolved CD (TRCD) studies of the sub-microsecond events of reduced cytochrome c folding have provided direct experimental evidence of kinetic heterogeneity, which is an inherent property of the diffusional nature of early folding dynamics on the energy landscape. In addition, TRCD has been applied to the study of many biochemical processes, such as ligand rebinding in hemoglobin and myoglobin and signaling state formation in photoactive yellow protein and prototropin 1 LOV2. The basic approach to TRCD has also been extended to include a repertoire of nanosecond polarization spectroscopies: optical rotatory dispersion (ORD), magnetic CD and ORD, and linear dichroism. This article will discuss the details of the polarization methods used in this laboratory, as well as the coupling of timeresolved ORD with the temperature-jump trigger so that protein folding can be studied in a larger number of proteins.
Time-resolved; Circular dichroism; Temperature-jump; Optical rotatory dispersion; Magnetic circular dichroism; Polarization spectroscopy
Time-resolved Resonance Raman spectra are reported for Hb tetramers, in which the αand β chains are selectively substituted with mesoheme. The Soret absorbtion band shift in meso- relative to proto-heme permits chain-selective excitation of heme RR spectra. The evolution of these spectra following HbCO photolysis show that geminate recombination rates and yields are the same for the two chains, consistent with recent results on 15N-heme isotopomer hybrids. The spectra also reveal systematic shifts in the deoxy-heme ν4 and νFe-His) RR bands, which are anti-correlated. These shifts are resolved for the successive intermediates in the protein structure, which have previously been determined from time-resolved UVRR spectra. Both chains show Fe-His bond compression in the immediate photoproduct, which relaxes during the formation of the first intermediate, Rdeoxy (0.07 μs), in which the proximal F-helix is proposed to move away from the heme. Subsequently, the Fe-His bond weakens, more so for the α than the β chains. The weakening is gradual for the β chains, but abrupt for the α chains, coinciding with completion of the R-T quaternary transition, at 20μs. Since the transition from fast- to slow-rebinding Hb also occurs at 20μs, the drop in the α chain νFe-His supports the localization of ligation restraint to tension in the Fe-His bond, at least in the α-chains. The mechanism is more complex in the β chains.
Protoheme/mesoheme; hybrid hemoglobin; resonance Raman; geminate recombination; allostery
The cell envelopes of gram-positive bacteria contain structurally diverse membrane-anchored macroamphiphiles (lipoteichoic acids and lipoglycans) whose functions are poorly understood. Since regulation of membrane composition is an important feature of adaptation to life at higher temperatures, we have examined the nature of the macroamphiphiles present in the thermophilic actinomycetes Thermobifida fusca and Rubrobacter xylanophilus. Following hot-phenol-water extraction and purification by hydrophobic interaction chromatography, Western blotting with a monoclonal antibody against lipoteichoic acid strongly suggested the presence of a polyglycerophosphate lipoteichoic acid in T. fusca. This structure was confirmed by chemical and nuclear magnetic resonance analyses, which confirmed that the lipoteichoic acid is substituted with β-glucosyl residues, in common with the teichoic acid of this organism. In contrast, several extraction methods failed to recover significant macroamphiphilic carbohydrate- or phosphate-containing material from R. xylanophilus, suggesting that this actinomycete most likely lacks a membrane-anchored macroamphiphile. The finding of a polyglycerophosphate lipoteichoic acid in T. fusca suggests that lipoteichoic acids may be more widely present in the cell envelopes of actinomycetes than was previously assumed. However, the apparent absence of macroamphiphiles in the cell envelope of R. xylanophilus is highly unusual and suggests that macroamphiphiles may not always be essential for cell envelope homeostasis in gram-positive bacteria.
Designer cellulosomes are precision-engineered multienzyme complexes in which the molecular architecture and enzyme content are exquisitely controlled. This system was used to examine enzyme cooperation for improved synergy among Thermobifida fusca glycoside hydrolases. Two T. fusca cellulases, Cel48A exoglucanase and Cel5A endoglucanase, and two T. fusca xylanases, endoxylanases Xyn10B and Xyn11A, were selected as enzymatic components of a mixed cellulase/xylanase-containing designer cellulosome. The resultant mixed multienzyme complex was fabricated on a single scaffoldin subunit bearing all four enzymes. Conversion of T. fusca enzymes to the cellulosomal mode followed by their subsequent incorporation into a tetravalent cellulosome led to assemblies with enhanced activity (~2.4-fold) on wheat straw as a complex cellulosic substrate. The enhanced synergy was caused by the proximity of the enzymes on the complex compared to the free-enzyme systems. The hydrolytic properties of the tetravalent designer cellulosome were compared with the combined action of two separate divalent cellulase- and xylanase-containing cellulosomes. Significantly, the tetravalent designer cellulosome system exhibited an ~2-fold enhancement in enzymatic activity compared to the activity of the mixture of two distinct divalent scaffoldin-borne enzymes. These results provide additional evidence that close proximity between cellulases and xylanases is key to the observed concerted degradation of the complex cellulosic substrate in which the integrated enzymes complement each other by promoting access to the relevant polysaccharide components of the substrate. The data demonstrate that cooperation among xylanases and cellulases can be augmented by their integration into a single designer cellulosome.
Global efforts towards alternative energy programs are highlighted by processes for converting plant-derived carbohydrates to biofuels. The major barrier in such processes is the inherent recalcitrance to enzymatic degradation of cellulose combined with related associated polysaccharides. The multienzyme cellulosome complexes, produced by anaerobic bacteria, are considered to be the most efficient systems for degradation of plant cell wall biomass. In the present work, we have employed a synthetic biology approach by producing artificial designer cellulosomes of predefined enzyme composition and architecture. The engineered tetravalent cellulosome complexes contain two different types of cellulases and two distinct xylanases. Using this approach, enhanced synergistic activity was observed on wheat straw, a natural recalcitrant substrate. The present work strives to gain insight into the combined action of cellulosomal enzyme components towards the development of advanced systems for improved degradation of cellulosic material.
Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) represent a group of enzymes of considerable biotechnological relevance as illustrated by their growing use as biocatalyst in a variety of synthetic applications. However, due to their increased use the reproducible expression of BVMOs and other biotechnologically relevant enzymes has become a pressing matter while knowledge about the factors governing their reproducible expression is scattered.
Here, we have used phenylacetone monooxygenase (PAMO) from Thermobifida fusca, a prototype Type I BVMO, as a model enzyme to develop a stepwise strategy to optimize the biotransformation performance of recombinant E. coli expressing PAMO in 96-well microtiter plates in a reproducible fashion. Using this system, the best expression conditions of PAMO were investigated first, including different host strains, temperature as well as time and induction period for PAMO expression. This optimized system was used next to improve biotransformation conditions, the PAMO-catalyzed conversion of phenylacetone, by evaluating the best electron donor, substrate concentration, and the temperature and length of biotransformation. Combining all optimized parameters resulted in a more than four-fold enhancement of the biocatalytic performance and, importantly, this was highly reproducible as indicated by the relative standard deviation of 1% for non-washed cells and 3% for washed cells. Furthermore, the optimized procedure was successfully adapted for activity-based mutant screening.
Our optimized procedure, which provides a comprehensive overview of the key factors influencing the reproducible expression and performance of a biocatalyst, is expected to form a rational basis for the optimization of miniaturized biotransformations and for the design of novel activity-based screening procedures suitable for BVMOs and other NAD(P)H-dependent enzymes as well.
Baeyer-Villiger monoxygenase; Escherichia coli; Biocatalysis; Square deep-well microtiter plates; Screening
DyP-type peroxidases comprise a novel superfamily of heme-containing peroxidases which is unrelated to the superfamilies of known peroxidases and of which only a few members have been characterized in some detail. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a DyP-type peroxidase (TfuDyP) from the thermophilic actinomycete Thermobifida fusca. Biochemical characterization of the recombinant enzyme showed that it is a monomeric, heme-containing, thermostable, and Tat-dependently exported peroxidase. TfuDyP is not only active as dye-decolorizing peroxidase as it also accepts phenolic compounds and aromatic sulfides. In fact, it is able to catalyze enantioselective sulfoxidations, a type of reaction that has not been reported before for DyP-type peroxidases. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to determine the role of two conserved residues. D242 is crucial for catalysis while H338 represents the proximal heme ligand and is essential for heme incorporation. A genome database analysis revealed that DyP-type peroxidases are frequently found in bacterial genomes while they are extremely rare in other organisms. Most of the bacterial homologs are potential cytosolic enzymes, suggesting metabolic roles different from dye degradation. In conclusion, the detailed biochemical characterization reported here contributes significantly to our understanding of these enzymes and further emphasizes their biotechnological potential.
Peroxidase; Heme; Sulfoxidation; Enantioselective; Dye decolorizing
Conversion of components of the Thermobifida fusca free-enzyme system to the cellulosomal mode using the designer cellulosome approach can be employed to discover the properties and inherent advantages of the cellulosome system. In this article, we describe the conversion of the T. fusca xylanases Xyn11A and Xyn10B and their synergistic interaction in the free state or within designer cellulosome complexes in order to enhance specific degradation of hatched wheat straw as a model for a complex cellulosic substrate. Endoglucanase Cel5A from the same bacterium and its recombinant dockerin-containing chimera were also studied for their combined effect, together with the xylanases, on straw degradation. Synergism was demonstrated when Xyn11A was combined with Xyn10B and/or Cel5A, and ∼1.5-fold activity enhancements were achieved by the designer cellulosome complexes compared to the free wild-type enzymes. These improvements in activity were due to both substrate-targeting and proximity effects among the enzymes contained in the designer cellulosome complexes. The intrinsic cellulose/xylan-binding module (XBM) of Xyn11A appeared to be essential for efficient substrate degradation. Indeed, only designer cellulosomes in which the XBM was maintained as a component of Xyn11A achieved marked enhancement in activity compared to the combination of wild-type enzymes. Moreover, integration of the XBM in designer cellulosomes via a dockerin module (separate from the Xyn11A catalytic module) failed to enhance activity, suggesting a role in orienting the parent xylanase toward its preferred polysaccharide component of the complex wheat straw substrate. The results provide novel mechanistic insight into the synergistic activity of designer cellulosome components on natural plant cell wall substrates.
The hydrolase (Thermobifida fusca hydrolase; TfH) from T. fusca was produced in Escherichia coli as fusion protein using the OmpA leader sequence and a His6 tag. Productivity could be raised more than 100-fold. Both batch and fed-batch cultivations yield comparable cell specific productivities whereas volumetric productivities differ largely. In the fed-batch cultivations final rTfH concentrations of 0.5 g L−1 could be achieved. In batch cultivations the generated rTfH is translocated to the periplasm wherefrom it is completely released into the extracellular medium. In fed-batch runs most of the produced rTfH remains as soluble protein in the cytoplasm and only a fraction of about 35% is translocated to the periplasm. Migration of periplasmic proteins in the medium is obviously coupled with growth rate and this final transport step possibly plays an important role in product localization and efficacy of the Sec translocation process.
Recombinant protein expression; Batch culture; Fed-batch culture; Sec pathway; Purification
Cellulosomes are efficient cellulose-degradation systems produced by selected anaerobic bacteria. This multi-enzyme complex is assembled from a group of cellulases attached to a protein scaffold termed scaffoldin, mediated by a high-affinity protein–protein interaction between the enzyme-borne dockerin module and the cohesin module of the scaffoldin. The enzymatic complex is attached as a whole to the cellulosic substrate via a cellulose-binding module (CBM) on the scaffoldin subunit. In previous works, we have employed a synthetic biology approach to convert several of the free cellulases of the aerobic bacterium, Thermobifida fusca, into the cellulosomal mode by replacing each of the enzymes’ CBM with a dockerin. Here we show that although family six enzymes are not a part of any known cellulosomal system, the two family six enzymes of the T. fusca system (endoglucanase Cel6A and exoglucanase Cel6B) can be converted to work as cellulosomal enzymes. Indeed, the chimaeric dockerin-containing family six endoglucanase worked well as a cellulosomal enzyme, and proved to be more efficient than the parent enzyme when present in designer cellulosomes. In stark contrast, the chimaeric family six exoglucanase was markedly less efficient than the wild-type enzyme when mixed with other T. fusca cellulases, thus indicating its incompatibility with the cellulosomal mode of action.
Cellulases; Designer cellulosome; Degradation of crystalline cellulose; Enzyme synergy; Substrate targeting and enzyme proximity; Bioenergy
Electrogenic glutamate transport by the excitatory amino acid carrier 1 (EAAC1) is associated with multiple charge movements across the membrane that take place on time scales ranging from microseconds to milliseconds. The molecular nature of these charge movements is poorly understood at present and, therefore, was studied in this report in detail by using the technique of laser-pulse photolysis of caged glutamate providing a 100-μs time resolution. In the inward transport mode, the deactivation of the transient component of the glutamate-induced coupled transport current exhibits two exponential components. Similar results were obtained when restricting EAAC1 to Na+ translocation steps by removing potassium, thus, demonstrating (1) that substrate translocation of EAAC1 is coupled to inward movement of positive charge and, therefore, electrogenic; and (2) the existence of at least two distinct intermediates in the Na+-binding and glutamate translocation limb of the EAAC1 transport cycle. Together with the determination of the sodium ion concentration and voltage dependence of the two-exponential charge movement and of the steady-state EAAC1 properties, we developed a kinetic model that is based on sequential binding of Na+ and glutamate to their extracellular binding sites on EAAC1 explaining our results. In this model, at least one Na+ ion and thereafter glutamate rapidly bind to the transporter initiating a slower, electroneutral structural change that makes EAAC1 competent for further, voltage-dependent binding of additional sodium ion(s). Once the fully loaded EAAC1 complex is formed, it can undergo a much slower, electrogenic translocation reaction to expose the substrate and ion binding sites to the cytoplasm.
glutamate transporter; charge movement; patch clamp; caged compounds; rapid kinetics
Cutinase from Thermobifida fusca is thermally stable and has potential application in the bioscouring of cotton in the textile industry. In the present study, the carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) from T. fusca cellulase Cel6A (CBMCel6A) and Cellulomonas fimi cellulase CenA (CBMCenA) were fused, separately, to the carboxyl terminus of T. fusca cutinase. Both fusion enzymes, cutinase-CBMCel6A and cutinase-CBMCenA, were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. Enzyme characterization showed that both displayed similar catalytic properties and pH stabilities in response to T. fusca cutinase. In addition, both fusion proteins displayed an activity half-life of 53 h at their optimal temperature of 50°C. Compared to T. fusca cutinase, in the absence of pectinase, the binding activity on cotton fiber was enhanced by 2% for cutinase-CBMCel6A and by 28% for cutinase-CBMCenA, whereas in the presence of pectinase, the binding activity was enhanced by 40% for the former and 45% for the latter. Notably, a dramatic increase of up to 3-fold was observed in the amount of released fatty acids from cotton fiber by both cutinase-CBM fusion proteins when acting in concert with pectinase. This is the first report of improving the scouring efficiency of cutinase by fusing it with CBM. The improvement in activity and the strong synergistic effect between the fusion proteins and pectinase suggest that they may have better applications in textile bioscouring than the native cutinase.
Thus far, research on plant hemoglobins (Hbs) has mainly concentrated on symbiotic and non-symbiotic Hbs, and information on truncated Hbs (TrHbs) is scarce. The aim of this study was to examine the origin, structure and localization of the truncated Hb (PttTrHb) of hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. × tremuloides Michx.), the model system of tree biology. Additionally, we studied the PttTrHb expression in relation to non-symbiotic class1 Hb gene (PttHb1) using RNAi-silenced hybrid aspen lines. Both the phylogenetic analysis and the three-dimensional (3D) model of PttTrHb supported the view that plant TrHbs evolved vertically from a bacterial TrHb. The 3D model suggested that PttTrHb adopts a 2-on-2 sandwich of α-helices and has a Bacillus subtilis -like ligand-binding pocket in which E11Gln and B10Tyr form hydrogen bonds to a ligand. However, due to differences in tunnel cavity and gate residue (E7Ala), it might not show similar ligand-binding kinetics as in Bs-HbO (E7Thr). The immunolocalization showed that PttTrHb protein was present in roots, stems as well as leaves of in vitro -grown hybrid aspens. In mature organs, PttTrHb was predominantly found in the vascular bundles and specifically at the site of lateral root formation, overlapping consistently with areas of nitric oxide (NO) production in plants. Furthermore, the NO donor sodium nitroprusside treatment increased the amount of PttTrHb in stems. The observed PttTrHb localization suggests that PttTrHb plays a role in the NO metabolism.
The gene encoding a cutinase homolog, LC-cutinase, was cloned from a fosmid library of a leaf-branch compost metagenome by functional screening using tributyrin agar plates. LC-cutinase shows the highest amino acid sequence identity of 59.7% to Thermomonospora curvata lipase. It also shows the 57.4% identity to Thermobifida fusca cutinase. When LC-cutinase without a putative signal peptide was secreted to the periplasm of Escherichia coli cells with the assistance of the pelB leader sequence, more than 50% of the recombinant protein, termed LC-cutinase*, was excreted into the extracellular medium. It was purified and characterized. LC-cutinase* hydrolyzed various fatty acid monoesters with acyl chain lengths of 2 to 18, with a preference for short-chain substrates (C4 substrate at most) most optimally at pH 8.5 and 50°C, but could not hydrolyze olive oil. It lost activity with half-lives of 40 min at 70°C and 7 min at 80°C. LC-cutinase* had an ability to degrade poly(ε-caprolactone) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The specific PET-degrading activity of LC-cutinase* was determined to be 12 mg/h/mg of enzyme (2.7 mg/h/μkat of pNP-butyrate-degrading activity) at pH 8.0 and 50°C. This activity is higher than those of the bacterial and fungal cutinases reported thus far, suggesting that LC-cutinase* not only serves as a good model for understanding the molecular mechanism of PET-degrading enzyme but also is potentially applicable for surface modification and degradation of PET.
Hemoglobin is an allosteric tetrameric protein made up of αβ hetero-dimers. The α and β chains are similar, but are chemically and structurally distinct. To investigate dynamical differences between the chains, we have prepared tetramers in which the chains are isotopically distinguishable, via reconstitution with 15N-heme. Ligand recombination and heme structural evolution, following HbCO dissociation, was monitored with chain selectivity by resonance Raman (RR) spectroscopy. For α but not for β chains, the frequency of the ν4 porphyrin breathing mode increased on the microsecond time scale. This increase is a manifestation of proximal tension in the Hb T-state, and its time course is parallel to the formation of T contacts, as determined previously by UVRR spectroscopy. Despite the localization of proximal constraint in the α chains, geminate recombination was found to be equally probable in the two chains, with yields of 39 ± 2 %. We discuss the possibility that this equivalence is coincidental, in the sense that it arises from the evolutionary pressure for cooperativity, or that it reflects mechanical coupling across the αβ interface, evidence for which has emerged from UVRR studies of site-mutants.
For the first time, a circularly permuted human β-globin (cpβ) has been coexpressed with human α-globin in bacterial cells and shown to associate to form α-cpβ hemoglobin in solution. Flash photolysis studies of α-cpβ show markedly biphasic CO and O2 kinetics with the amplitudes for the fast association phases being dominant due the presence of large amounts of high-affinity liganded hemoglobin dimers. Extensive dimerization of liganded but not deoxygenated α-cpβ was observed by gel chromatography. The rate constants for O2 and CO binding to the R state forms of α-cpβ are almost identical to those of native HbA (k′R(CO) ≈ 5.0 μM−1 s−1; k′R(O2) ≈ 50 μM−1 s−1), and the rate of O2 dissociation from fully oxygenated α-cpβ is also very similar to that observed for HbA (kR(O2) ≈ 21–28 s−1). When the equilibrium deoxyHb form of α-cpβ is reacted with CO in rapid mixing experiments, the observed time courses are monophasic and the observed bimolecular association rate constant is ∼1.0 μM−1 s−1, which is intermediate between the R state rate measured in partial photolysis experiments (∼5 μM−1 s−1) and that observed for T state deoxyHbA (k′T(CO) ≈ 0.1 to 0.2 μM−1 s−1). Thus the deoxygenated permutated β subunits generate an intermediate, higher affinity, deoxyHb quaternary state. This conclusion is supported by equilibrium oxygen binding measurements in which α-cpβ exhibits a P50 of ∼1.5 mmHg and a low n-value (∼1.3) at pH 7, 20 °C, compared to 8.5 mmHg and n ≈ 2.8 for native HbA under identical, dilute conditions.
An important step towards understanding the mechanism of the PrPC to PrPSc conversion is to elucidate the folding pathway(s) of the prion protein. Based on stopped-flow measurements, we recently proposed that the prion protein folds via a transient intermediate formed on the sub-millisecond time-scale, and mutations linked to familial diseases result in a pronounced increase in the population of this intermediate. Here, we have extended these studies to continuous flow measurements using a capillary mixing system with a time resolution of ~ 100 μs. This allowed us to directly observe two distinct phases in folding of the recombinant human prion protein 90–231, providing unambiguous evidence for rapid accumulation of an early intermediate (with a time constant of ~50 μs), followed by a rate-limiting folding step (with a time constant of ~700 μs). The present study also clearly demonstrates that the population of the intermediate is significantly increased at mildly acidic pH and in the presence of urea. A similar three-state folding behavior was observed for Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease- associated F198S mutant, in which case the population of an intermediate was greatly increased as compared to the wild-type protein. Overall, the present data strongly suggest that this partially structured intermediate may be a direct monomeric precursor of the misfolded PrPSc oligomer.
Microorganisms employ a multiplicity of enzymes to efficiently degrade the composite structure of plant cell wall cellulosic polysaccharides. These remarkable enzyme systems include glycoside hydrolases (cellulases, hemicellulases), polysaccharide lyases, and the carbohydrate esterases. To accomplish this challenging task, several strategies are commonly observed either separately or in combination. These include free enzyme systems, multifunctional enzymes, and multi-enzyme self-assembled designer cellulosome complexes.
In order to compare these different paradigms, we employed a synthetic biology approach to convert two different cellulases from the free enzymatic system of the well-studied bacterium, Thermobifida fusca, into bifunctional enzymes with different modular architectures. We then examined their performance compared to those of the combined parental free-enzyme and equivalent designer-cellulosome systems. The results showed that the cellulolytic activity displayed by the different architectures of the bifunctional enzymes was somewhat inferior to that of the wild-type free enzyme system.
The activity exhibited by the designer cellulosome system was equal or superior to that of the free system, presumably reflecting the combined proximity of the enzymes and high flexibility of the designer cellulosome components, thus enabling efficient enzymatic activity of the catalytic modules.
Bifunctional cellulase; Thermobifida fusca; Enzyme paradigm
Thermobifida fusca secretes proteins that carry out plant cell wall degradation. Using two-dimensional electrophoresis, the extracellular proteome of T. fusca grown on cellobiose was compared to that of cells grown on glucose. Extracellular proteins, the expression of which is induced by cellobiose, mainly are cellulases and cellulose-binding proteins. Other major extracellular proteins induced by cellobiose include a xylanase (Xyl10A) and two unknown proteins, the C-terminal regions of which are homologous to a lytic transglycosylase goose egg white lysozyme domain and an NLPC_P60 domain (which defines a family of cell wall peptidases), respectively. Transcriptional analysis of genes encoding cellobiose-induced proteins suggests that their expression is controlled at the transcriptional level and that their expression also is induced by cellulose. Some other major extracellular proteins produced by T. fusca grown on both cellobiose and glucose include Lam81A and three unknown proteins that are homologous to aminopeptidases and xylanases or that contain a putative NLPC_P60 domain.
Thermobifida fusca is a moderately thermophilic soil bacterium that belongs to Actinobacteria. It is a major degrader of plant cell walls and has been used as a model organism for the study of secreted, thermostable cellulases. The complete genome sequence showed that T. fusca has a single circular chromosome of 3,642,249 bp predicted to encode 3,117 proteins and 65 RNA species with a coding density of 85%. Genome analysis revealed the existence of 29 putative glycoside hydrolases in addition to the previously identified cellulases and xylanases. The glycosyl hydrolases include enzymes predicted to exhibit mainly dextran/starch- and xylan-degrading functions. T. fusca possesses two protein secretion systems: the sec general secretion system and the twin-arginine translocation system. Several of the secreted cellulases have sequence signatures indicating their secretion may be mediated by the twin-arginine translocation system. T. fusca has extensive transport systems for import of carbohydrates coupled to transcriptional regulators controlling the expression of the transporters and glycosylhydrolases. In addition to providing an overview of the physiology of a soil actinomycete, this study presents insights on the transcriptional regulation and secretion of cellulases which may facilitate the industrial exploitation of these systems.
In neuroendocrine cells, cytosolic Ca2+ triggers exocytosis in tens of milliseconds, yet known pathways of endocytic membrane retrieval take minutes. To test for faster retrieval mechanisms, we have triggered short bursts of exocytosis by flash photolysis of caged Ca2+, and have tracked subsequent retrieval by measuring the plasma membrane capacitance. We find that a limited amount of membrane can be retrieved with a time constant of 4 s at 21-26 degrees C, and that this occurs partially via structures larger than coated vesicles. This novel mechanism may be arrested at a late step. Incomplete retrieval structures then remain on the cell surface for minutes until the consequences of a renewed increase in cytosolic [Ca2+] disconnect them from the cell surface in < 1 s. Our results provide evidence for a rapid, triggered membrane retrieval pathway in excitable cells.
Cutinase is a multifunctional esterase with potential industrial applications. In the present study, a truncated version of the extracellular Thermobifida fusca cutinase without a signal peptide (referred to as cutinaseNS) was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). The results showed that the majority of the cutinase activity was located in the culture medium. In a 3-liter fermentor, the cutinase activity in the culture medium reached 1,063.5 U/ml (2,380.8 mg/liter), and the productivity was 40.9 U/ml/h. Biochemical characterization of the purified cutinaseNS showed that it has enzymatic properties similar to those of the wild-type enzyme. In addition, E. coli cells producing inactive cutinaseNSS130A were constructed, and it was found that the majority of the inactive enzyme was located in the cytoplasm. Furthermore, T. fusca cutinase was confirmed to have hydrolytic activity toward phospholipids, an important component of the cell membrane. Compared to the cells expressing the inactive cutinaseNSS130A, the cells expressing cutinaseNS showed increased membrane permeability and irregular morphology. Based on these results, a hypothesis of “cell leakage induced by the limited phospholipid hydrolysis of cutinaseNS” was proposed to explain the underlying mechanism for the extracellular release of cutinaseNS.
Phenothiazines derivatives are versatile compounds that are used in many fields, depending on the type and position of the substitution on the parent molecule. The photochemical, photophysical and electrochemical properties of several phenothiazine derivatives have been previously reported in detail. However, no reports have been presented for 2-aminophenothiazine (APH), a candidate that provides for the further chemical modification and the introduction of specific substituents. In this work, the photophysical and electrochemical properties of APH were measured in acetonitrile. The APH ground state absorption and fluorescence spectrum (φf < 0.01) are similar to the corresponding that of PH parent molecule. A mono exponential decay fluorescence lifetime of 0.65 ns was determined for APH in acetonitrile. Characterization of the 355 nm nanosecond laser flash photolysis transient species reveals the presence of the triplet-triplet transient intermediate with a high intersystem crossing quantum yield (φT = 0.72 ± 0.07), indicating that the APH main excited state deactivation channel is intersystem crossing. The oxidation potential of APH is lower than phenothiazine parent molecule ((0.38 V vs 0.69 V vs Ag/AgCl(sat)). Altogether, these results show that APH has photochemical and photophysical properties similar to the phenothiazine parent molecule, but with the possibility of providing an amino functionality at 2-position for further chemical modification.
phenothiazine; tricyclic antidepressants; photophysics and photochemistry
Photolyses of metastable porphyrin-iron(IV) diperchlorates in laser flash photolysis reactions gave highly reactive transients. The systems studied were 5,10,15,20-tetraphenylporphyrin (TPP), 5,10,15,20-tetramesitylporphyrin (TMP), and 2,3,7,8,12,13,17,18-octaethylporphyrin (OEP). The new species, which decayed within milliseconds in acetonitrile solutions, were shown to react with organic substrates by oxo-transfer reactions involving insertions into carbon-carbon double bonds of alkenes and styrenes or benzylic carbon-hydrogen bonds of arenes. The order of reactivity was OEP > TPP > TMP. Second-order rate constants for reactions with several substrates at 22°C were determined; representative values of rate constants for the TPP derivative were k = 8.6 × 105 M−1 s−1 for styrene, k = 2.5 × 106 M−1 s−1 for cyclohexene, and k = 7.7 × 104 M−1 s−1 for ethylbenzene. These porphyrin-iron-oxo transients reacted 4 to 5 orders of magnitude faster than the corresponding iron(IV)-oxo porphyrin radical cations with rate constants similar to those of porphyrin-manganese(V)-oxo derivatives. Rate constants for oxidations of benzylic C-H positions of arenes correlated with the C-H bond dissociation energies, and Hammett correlations for reactions with substituted styrenes had ρ+ values ranging from −0.5 to −0.7 reflecting electrophilic character of the oxidants and their high reactivity. On the basis of their unique UV-visible spectra, high reactivities, and oxo-transfer properties, the new transients are tentatively identified as porphyrin-iron(V)-oxo perchlorates, electronic isomers (or valence tautomers) of well known iron(IV)-oxo porphyrin radical cations.