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1.  Investigating the coenzyme specificity of phenylacetone monooxygenase from Thermobifida fusca 
Type I Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) strongly prefer NADPH over NADH as an electron donor. In order to elucidate the molecular basis for this coenzyme specificity, we have performed a site-directed mutagenesis study on phenylacetone monooxygenase (PAMO) from Thermobifida fusca. Using sequence alignments of type I BVMOs and crystal structures of PAMO and cyclohexanone monooxygenase in complex with NADP+, we identified four residues that could interact with the 2′-phosphate moiety of NADPH in PAMO. The mutagenesis study revealed that the conserved R217 is essential for binding the adenine moiety of the nicotinamide coenzyme while it also contributes to the recognition of the 2′-phosphate moiety of NADPH. The substitution of T218 did not have a strong effect on the coenzyme specificity. The H220N and H220Q mutants exhibited a ~3-fold improvement in the catalytic efficiency with NADH while the catalytic efficiency with NADPH was hardly affected. Mutating K336 did not increase the activity of PAMO with NADH, but it had a significant and beneficial effect on the enantioselectivity of Baeyer–Villiger oxidations and sulfoxidations. In conclusion, our results indicate that the function of NADPH in catalysis cannot be easily replaced by NADH. This finding is in line with the complex catalytic mechanism and the vital role of the coenzyme in BVMOs.
PMCID: PMC2956058  PMID: 20703875
Phenylacetone monooxygenase; Baeyer–Villiger oxidation; Coenzyme specificity; Enantioselectivity
2.  Mapping the Substrate Binding Site of Phenylacetone Monooxygenase from Thermobifida fusca by Mutational Analysis▿† 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2011;77(16):5730-5738.
Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases catalyze oxidations that are of interest for biocatalytic applications. Among these enzymes, phenylacetone monooxygenase (PAMO) from Thermobifida fusca is the only protein showing remarkable stability. While related enzymes often present a broad substrate scope, PAMO accepts only a limited number of substrates. Due to the absence of a substrate in the elucidated crystal structure of PAMO, the substrate binding site of this protein has not yet been defined. In this study, a structural model of cyclopentanone monooxygenase, which acts on a broad range of compounds, has been prepared and compared with the structure of PAMO. This revealed 15 amino acid positions in the active site of PAMO that may account for its relatively narrow substrate specificity. We designed and analyzed 30 single and multiple mutants in order to verify the role of these positions. Extensive substrate screening revealed several mutants that displayed increased activity and altered regio- or enantioselectivity in Baeyer-Villiger reactions and sulfoxidations. Further substrate profiling resulted in the identification of mutants with improved catalytic properties toward synthetically attractive compounds. Moreover, the thermostability of the mutants was not compromised in comparison to that of the wild-type enzyme. Our data demonstrate that the positions identified within the active site of PAMO, namely, V54, I67, Q152, and A435, contribute to the substrate specificity of this enzyme. These findings will aid in more dedicated and effective redesign of PAMO and related monooxygenases toward an expanded substrate scope.
PMCID: PMC3165276  PMID: 21724896
3.  Cloning, expression and characterization of a versatile Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase from Dietzia sp. D5 
AMB Express  2014;4:23.
A novel BVMO encoding gene was identified from a draft genome sequence of a newly isolated strain of Dietzia. Analysis of the protein sequence revealed that it belongs to a group of BVMOs whose most characterized member is cyclopentadecanone monooxygenase (CPDMO). The gene was PCR amplified, cloned and successfully expressed in E. coli. The expressed recombinant enzyme was purified using metal affinity chromatography. Characterization of the purified enzyme revealed that it has a broad substrate scope and oxidized different compounds including substituted and unsubstituted alicyclic, bicyclic-, aliphatic-ketones, ketones with an aromatic moiety, and sulfides. The highest activities were measured for 2- and 3-methylcyclohexanone, phenylacetone, bicyclo-[3.2.0]-hept-2-en-6-one and menthone. The enzyme was optimally active at pH 7.5 and 35°C, a temperature at which its half-life was about 20 hours. The stability studies have shown that this enzyme is more stable than all other reported BVMOs except the phenylacetone monooxygenase from the thermophilic organism Thermobifida fusca.
PMCID: PMC4052671  PMID: 24949258
Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase; Biocatalysis; Enzyme stability; Protein expression
4.  Pseudomonad Cyclopentadecanone Monooxygenase Displaying an Uncommon Spectrum of Baeyer-Villiger Oxidations of Cyclic Ketones†  
Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) are biocatalysts that offer the prospect of high chemo-, regio-, and enantioselectivity in the organic synthesis of lactones or esters from a variety of ketones. In this study, we have cloned, sequenced, and overexpressed in Escherichia coli a new BVMO, cyclopentadecanone monooxygenase (CpdB or CPDMO), originally derived from Pseudomonas sp. strain HI-70. The 601-residue primary structure of CpdB revealed only 29% to 50% sequence identity to those of known BVMOs. A new sequence motif, characterized by a cluster of charged residues, was identified in a subset of BVMO sequences that contain an N-terminal extension of ∼60 to 147 amino acids. The 64-kDa CPDMO enzyme was purified to apparent homogeneity, providing a specific activity of 3.94 μmol/min/mg protein and a 20% yield. CPDMO is monomeric and NADPH dependent and contains ∼1 mol flavin adenine dinucleotide per mole of protein. A deletion mutant suggested the importance of the N-terminal 54 amino acids to CPDMO activity. In addition, a Ser261Ala substitution in a Rossmann fold motif resulted in an improved stability and increased affinity of the enzyme towards NADPH compared to the wild-type enzyme (Km = 8 μM versus Km = 24 μM). Substrate profiling indicated that CPDMO is unusual among known BVMOs in being able to accommodate and oxidize both large and small ring substrates that include C11 to C15 ketones, methyl-substituted C5 and C6 ketones, and bicyclic ketones, such as decalone and β-tetralone. CPDMO has the highest affinity (Km = 5.8 μM) and the highest catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km ratio of 7.2 × 105 M−1 s−1) toward cyclopentadecanone, hence the Cpd designation. A number of whole-cell biotransformations were carried out, and as a result, CPDMO was found to have an excellent enantioselectivity (E > 200) as well as 99% S-selectivity toward 2-methylcyclohexanone for the production of 7-methyl-2-oxepanone, a potentially valuable chiral building block. Although showing a modest selectivity (E = 5.8), macrolactone formation of 15-hexadecanolide from the kinetic resolution of 2-methylcyclopentadecanone using CPDMO was also demonstrated.
PMCID: PMC1449013  PMID: 16597975
5.  Two Enzymes of a Complete Degradation Pathway for Linear Alkylbenzenesulfonate (LAS) Surfactants: 4-Sulfoacetophenone Baeyer-Villiger Monooxygenase and 4-Sulfophenylacetate Esterase in Comamonas testosteroni KF-1 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2012;78(23):8254-8263.
Complete biodegradation of the surfactant linear alkylbenzenesulfonate (LAS) is accomplished by complex bacterial communities in two steps. First, all LAS congeners are degraded into about 50 sulfophenylcarboxylates (SPC), one of which is 3-(4-sulfophenyl)butyrate (3-C4-SPC). Second, these SPCs are mineralized. 3-C4-SPC is mineralized by Comamonas testosteroni KF-1 in a process involving 4-sulfoacetophenone (SAP) as a metabolite and an unknown inducible Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase (BVMO) to yield 4-sulfophenyl acetate (SPAc) from SAP (SAPMO enzyme); hydrolysis of SPAc to 4-sulfophenol and acetate is catalyzed by an unknown inducible esterase (SPAc esterase). Transcriptional analysis showed that one of four candidate genes for BVMOs in the genome of strain KF-1, as well as an SPAc esterase candidate gene directly upstream, was inducibly transcribed during growth with 3-C4-SPC. The same genes were identified by enzyme purification and peptide fingerprinting-mass spectrometry when SAPMO was enriched and SPAc esterase purified to homogeneity by protein chromatography. Heterologously overproduced pure SAPMO converted SAP to SPAc and was active with phenylacetone and 4-hydroxyacetophenone but not with cyclohexanone and progesterone. SAPMO showed the highest sequence homology to the archetypal phenylacetone BVMO (57%), followed by steroid BVMO (55%) and 4-hydroxyacetophenone BVMO (30%). Finally, the two pure enzymes added sequentially, SAPMO with NADPH and SAP, and then SPAc esterase, catalyzed the conversion of SAP via SPAc to 4-sulfophenol and acetate in a 1:1:1:1 molar ratio. Hence, the first two enzymes of a complete LAS degradation pathway were identified, giving evidence for the recruitment of members of the very versatile type I BVMO and carboxylester hydrolase enzyme families for the utilization of a xenobiotic compound by bacteria.
PMCID: PMC3497377  PMID: 23001656
6.  Cloning, Expression, Characterization, and Biocatalytic Investigation of the 4-Hydroxyacetophenone Monooxygenase from Pseudomonas putida JD1▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2009;75(10):3106-3114.
While the number of available recombinant Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) has grown significantly over the last few years, there is still the demand for other BVMOs to expand the biocatalytic diversity. Most BVMOs that have been described are dedicated to convert efficiently cyclohexanone and related cyclic aliphatic ketones. To cover a broader range of substrate types and enantio- and/or regioselectivities, new BVMOs have to be discovered. The gene encoding a BVMO identified in Pseudomonas putida JD1 converting aromatic ketones (HAPMO; 4-hydroxyacetophenone monooxygenase) was amplified from genomic DNA using SiteFinding-PCR, cloned, and functionally expressed in Escherichia coli. Furthermore, four other open reading frames could be identified clustered around this HAPMO. It has been suggested that these proteins, including the HAPMO, might be involved in the degradation of 4-hydroxyacetophenone. Substrate specificity studies revealed that a large variety of other arylaliphatic ketones are also converted via Baeyer-Villiger oxidation into the corresponding esters, with preferences for para-substitutions at the aromatic ring. In addition, oxidation of aldehydes and some heteroaromatic compounds was observed. Cycloketones and open-chain ketones were not or poorly accepted, respectively. It was also found that this enzyme oxidizes aromatic ketones such as 3-phenyl-2-butanone with excellent enantioselectivity (E ≫100).
PMCID: PMC2681629  PMID: 19251889
7.  Substrate Specificity and Enantioselectivity of 4-Hydroxyacetophenone Monooxygenase 
The 4-hydroxyacetophenone monooxygenase (HAPMO) from Pseudomonas fluorescens ACB catalyzes NADPH- and oxygen-dependent Baeyer-Villiger oxidation of 4-hydroxyacetophenone to the corresponding acetate ester. Using the purified enzyme from recombinant Escherichia coli, we found that a broad range of carbonylic compounds that are structurally more or less similar to 4-hydroxyacetophenone are also substrates for this flavin-containing monooxygenase. On the other hand, several carbonyl compounds that are substrates for other Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) are not converted by HAPMO. In addition to performing Baeyer-Villiger reactions with aromatic ketones and aldehydes, the enzyme was also able to catalyze sulfoxidation reactions by using aromatic sulfides. Furthermore, several heterocyclic and aliphatic carbonyl compounds were also readily converted by this BVMO. To probe the enantioselectivity of HAPMO, the conversion of bicyclohept-2-en-6-one and two aryl alkyl sulfides was studied. The monooxygenase preferably converted (1R,5S)-bicyclohept-2-en-6-one, with an enantiomeric ratio (E) of 20, thus enabling kinetic resolution to obtain the (1S,5R) enantiomer. Complete conversion of both enantiomers resulted in the accumulation of two regioisomeric lactones with moderate enantiomeric excess (ee) for the two lactones obtained [77% ee for (1S,5R)-2 and 34% ee for (1R,5S)-3]. Using methyl 4-tolyl sulfide and methylphenyl sulfide, we found that HAPMO is efficient and highly selective in the asymmetric formation of the corresponding (S)-sulfoxides (ee > 99%). The biocatalytic properties of HAPMO described here show the potential of this enzyme for biotechnological applications.
PMCID: PMC152415  PMID: 12514023
8.  Expanding the set of rhodococcal Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenases by high-throughput cloning, expression and substrate screening 
To expand the available set of Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs), we have created expression constructs for producing 22 Type I BVMOs that are present in the genome of Rhodococcus jostii RHA1. Each BVMO has been probed with a large panel of potential substrates. Except for testing their substrate acceptance, also the enantioselectivity of some selected BVMOs was studied. The results provide insight into the biocatalytic potential of this collection of BVMOs and expand the biocatalytic repertoire known for BVMOs. This study also sheds light on the catalytic capacity of this large set of BVMOs that is present in this specific actinomycete. Furthermore, a comparative sequence analysis revealed a new BVMO-typifying sequence motif. This motif represents a useful tool for effective future genome mining efforts.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00253-011-3823-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3427485  PMID: 22218769
Biocatalysis; Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenase; Sulfoxidation; Enantioselectivity
9.  Identification of a novel Baeyer‐Villiger monooxygenase from Acinetobacter radioresistens: close relationship to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis prodrug activator EtaA 
Microbial biotechnology  2012;5(6):700-716.
This work demonstrates that Acinetobacter radioresistens strain S13 during the growth on medium supplemented with long‐chain alkanes as the sole energy source expresses almA gene coding for a Baeyer‐Villiger monooxygenase (BVMO) involved in alkanes subterminal oxidation. Phylogenetic analysis placed the sequence of this novel BVMO in the same clade of the prodrug activator ethionamide monooxygenase (EtaA) and it bears only a distant relation to the other known class I BVMO proteins. In silico analysis of the 3D model of the S13 BVMO generated by homology modelling also supports the similarities with EtaA by binding ethionamide to the active site. In vitro experiments carried out with the purified enzyme confirm that this novel BVMO is indeed capable of typical Baeyer‐Villiger reactions as well as oxidation of the prodrug ethionamide.
PMCID: PMC3815892  PMID: 22862894
10.  Cloning, Baeyer-Villiger Biooxidations, and Structures of the Camphor Pathway 2-Oxo-Δ3-4,5,5-Trimethylcyclopentenylacetyl-Coenzyme A Monooxygenase of Pseudomonas putida ATCC 17453 
A dimeric Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase (BVMO) catalyzing the lactonization of 2-oxo-Δ3-4,5,5-trimethylcyclopentenylacetyl-coenzyme A (CoA), a key intermediate in the metabolism of camphor by Pseudomonas putida ATCC 17453, had been initially characterized in 1983 by Ougham and coworkers (H. J. Ougham, D. G. Taylor, and P. W. Trudgill, J. Bacteriol. 153:140–152, 1983). Here we cloned and overexpressed the 2-oxo-Δ3-4,5,5-trimethylcyclopentenylacetyl-CoA monooxygenase (OTEMO) in Escherichia coli and determined its three-dimensional structure with bound flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) at a 1.95-Å resolution as well as with bound FAD and NADP+ at a 2.0-Å resolution. OTEMO represents the first homodimeric type 1 BVMO structure bound to FAD/NADP+. A comparison of several crystal forms of OTEMO bound to FAD and NADP+ revealed a conformational plasticity of several loop regions, some of which have been implicated in contributing to the substrate specificity profile of structurally related BVMOs. Substrate specificity studies confirmed that the 2-oxo-Δ3-4,5,5-trimethylcyclopentenylacetic acid coenzyme A ester is preferred over the free acid. However, the catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km) favors 2-n-hexyl cyclopentanone (4.3 × 105 M−1 s−1) as a substrate, although its affinity (Km = 32 μM) was lower than that of the CoA-activated substrate (Km = 18 μM). In whole-cell biotransformation experiments, OTEMO showed a unique enantiocomplementarity to the action of the prototypical cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO) and appeared to be particularly useful for the oxidation of 4-substituted cyclohexanones. Overall, this work extends our understanding of the molecular structure and mechanistic complexity of the type 1 family of BVMOs and expands the catalytic repertoire of one of its original members.
PMCID: PMC3302634  PMID: 22267661
11.  Recombinant expression and purification of the 2,5-diketocamphane 1,2-monooxygenase from the camphor metabolizing Pseudomonas putida strain NCIMB 10007 
AMB Express  2011;1:13.
Three different Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) were reported to be involved in the camphor metabolism by Pseudomonas putida NCIMB 10007. During (+)-camphor degradation, 2,5-diketocamphane is formed serving as substrate for the 2,5-diketocamphane 1,2-monooxygenase. This enzyme is encoded on the CAM plasmid and depends on the cofactors FMN and NADH and hence belongs to the group of type II BVMOs. We have cloned and recombinantly expressed the oxygenating subunit of the 2,5-diketocamphane 1,2-monooxygenase (2,5-DKCMO) in E. coli followed by His-tag-based affinity purification. A range of compounds representing different BVMO substrate classes were then investigated, but only bicyclic ketones were converted by 2,5-DKCMO used as crude cell extract or after purification. Interestingly, also (-)-camphor was oxidized, but conversion was about 3-fold lower compared to (+)-camphor. Moreover, activity of purified 2,5-DKCMO was observed in the absence of an NADH-dehydrogenase subunit.
PMCID: PMC3222318  PMID: 21906366
Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases; camphor; Pseudomonas putida NCIMB 10007; 2,5-diketocamphane 1,2-monooxygenase; bicyclic ketones
12.  Stabilization of cyclohexanone monooxygenase by a computationally designed disulfide bond spanning only one residue 
FEBS Open Bio  2014;4:168-174.
•Cyclohexanone monooxygenase was stabilized by an in silico designed disulfide bond.•Stabilizing disulfide bonds were successfully designed based on a model structure.•The half-life at 30 °C was increased 12-fold for the mutant enzyme.•The apparent melting point was increased by 6 °C for the mutant enzyme.•The most stabilizing disulfide bond spans only one residue.
Enzyme stability is an important parameter in biocatalytic applications, and there is a strong need for efficient methods to generate robust enzymes. We investigated whether stabilizing disulfide bonds can be computationally designed based on a model structure. In our approach, unlike in previous disulfide engineering studies, short bonds spanning only a few residues were included. We used cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO), a Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenase (BVMO) from Acinetobacter sp. NCIMB9871 as the target enzyme. This enzyme has been the prototype BVMO for many biocatalytic studies even though it is notoriously labile. After creating a small library of mutant enzymes with introduced cysteine pairs and subsequent screening for improved thermostability, three stabilizing disulfide bonds were identified. The introduced disulfide bonds are all within 12 Å of each other, suggesting this particular region is critical for unfolding. This study shows that stabilizing disulfide bonds do not have to span many residues, as the most stabilizing disulfide bond, L323C–A325C, spans only one residue while it stabilizes the enzyme, as shown by a 6 °C increase in its apparent melting temperature.
PMCID: PMC3953729  PMID: 24649397
BVMO, Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenase; CHMO, cyclohexanone monooxygenase; DTT, dithiothreitol; MD, molecular dynamics; PAMO, phenylacetone monooxygenase; Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenase; Computational design; Disulfide bonds; Thermostability; Flavoprotein; Enzyme engineering
13.  Cloning, overexpression and biocatalytic exploration of a novel Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase from Aspergillus fumigatus Af293 
AMB Express  2013;3:33.
The presence of several putative Baeyer-Villiger Monooxygenases (BVMOs) encoding genes in Aspergillus fumigatus Af293 was demonstrated for the first time. One of the identified BVMO-encoding genes was cloned and successfully overexpressed fused to the cofactor regenerating enzyme phosphite dehydrogenase (PTDH). The enzyme named BVMOAf1 was extensively characterized in terms of its substrate scope and essential kinetic features. It showed high chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivity not only in the oxidation of asymmetric sulfides, (S)-sulfoxides were obtained with 99% ee, but also in the kinetic resolution of bicyclo[3.2.0]hept-2-en-6-one. This kinetic resolution process led to the production of (1S,5R) normal lactone and (1R,5S) abnormal lactone with a regioisomeric ratio of 1:1 and 99% ee each. Besides, different reaction conditions, such as pH, temperature and the presence of organic solvents, have been tested, revealing that BVMOAf1 is a relatively robust biocatalyst.
PMCID: PMC3762062  PMID: 23767684
Eukaryotic BVMO; Aspergillus; Baeyer-Villiger oxidation; Kinetic resolution; Sulfide oxidation
14.  Novel Acetone Metabolism in a Propane-Utilizing Bacterium, Gordonia sp. Strain TY-5▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;189(3):886-893.
In the propane-utilizing bacterium Gordonia sp. strain TY-5, propane was shown to be oxidized to 2-propanol and then further oxidized to acetone. In this study, the subsequent metabolism of acetone was studied. Acetone-induced proteins were found in extracts of cells induced by acetone, and a gene cluster designated acmAB was cloned on the basis of the N-terminal amino acid sequences of acetone-induced proteins. The acmA and acmB genes encode a Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase (BVMO) and esterase, respectively. The BVMO encoded by acmA was purified from acetone-induced cells of Gordonia sp. strain TY-5 and characterized. The BVMO exhibited NADPH-dependent oxidation activity for linear ketones (C3 to C10) and cyclic ketones (C4 to C8). Escherichia coli expressing the acmA gene oxidized acetone to methyl acetate, and E. coli expressing the acmB gene hydrolyzed methyl acetate. Northern blot analyses revealed that polycistronic transcription of the acmAB gene cluster was induced by propane, 2-propanol, and acetone. These results indicate that the acmAB gene products play an important role in the metabolism of acetone derived from propane oxidation and clarify the propane metabolism pathway of strain TY-5 (propane → 2-propanol → acetone → methyl acetate → acetic acid + methanol). This paper provides the first evidence for BVMO-dependent acetone metabolism.
PMCID: PMC1797311  PMID: 17071761
15.  The Substrate-Bound Crystal Structure of a Baeyer–Villiger Monooxygenase Exhibits a Criegee-like Conformation 
The Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) are a family of bacterial flavoproteins that catalyze the synthetically useful Baeyer–Villiger oxidation reaction. This involves the conversion of ketones into esters or cyclic ketones into lactones by introducing an oxygen atom adjacent to the carbonyl group. The BVMOs offer exquisite regio- and enantiospecificity while acting on a wide range of substrates. They use only NADPH and oxygen as cosubstrates, and produce only NADP+ and water as byproducts, making them environmentally attractive for industrial purposes. Here, we report the first crystal structure of a BVMO, cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO) from Rhodococcus sp. HI-31 in complex with its substrate, cyclohexanone, as well as NADP+ and FAD, to 2.4 Å resolution. This structure shows a drastic rotation of the NADP+ cofactor in comparison to previously reported NADP+-bound structures, as the nicotinamide moiety is no longer positioned above the flavin ring. Instead, the substrate, cyclohexanone, is found at this location, in an appropriate position for the formation of the Criegee intermediate. The rotation of NADP+ permits the substrate to gain access to the reactive flavin peroxyanion intermediate while preventing it from diffusing out of the active site. The structure thus reveals the conformation of the enzyme during the key catalytic step. CHMO is proposed to undergo a series of conformational changes to gradually move the substrate from the solvent, via binding in a solvent excluded pocket that dictates the enzyme’s chemospecificity, to a location above the flavin–peroxide adduct where catalysis occurs.
PMCID: PMC3349289  PMID: 22506764
16.  Crystal Structure of Baeyer-Villiger Monooxygenase MtmOIV, the Key Enzyme of the Mithramycin Biosynthetic Pathway† 
Biochemistry  2009;48(21):4476-4487.
Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs), mostly flavoproteins, were shown to be powerful biocatalysts for synthetic organic chemistry applications and were also suggested to play key roles for the biosyntheses of various natural products. Here we present the three-dimensional structure of MtmOIV, a 56 kD homo-dimeric FAD- and NADPH-dependent monooxygenase, which catalyzes the key frame-modifying step of the mithramycin biosynthetic pathway and currently the only BVMO proven to react with its natural substrate via a Baeyer-Villiger reaction. MtmOIV’s structure was determined by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement to a resolution of 2.9Å. MtmOIV cleaves a C-C bond, essential for the conversion of the biologically inactive precursor, premithramycin B, into the active drug mithramycin. The MtmOIV structure combined with substrate docking calculations and site-directed mutagenesis experiments implicate several residues to participate in co-factor and substrate binding. Future experimentation aimed at broadening the substrate specificity of the enzyme could facilitate the generation of chemically diverse mithramycin analogues through combinatorial biosynthesis.
PMCID: PMC2713373  PMID: 19364090
17.  Isolation and initial characterization of a novel type of Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenase activity from a marine microorganism 
Microbial biotechnology  2012;5(4):549-559.
A novel type of Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenase (BVMO) has been found in a marine strain of Stenotrophomonas maltophila strain PML168 that was isolated from a temperate intertidal zone. The enzyme is able to use NADH as the source of reducing power necessary to accept the atom of diatomic oxygen not incorporated into the oxyfunctionalized substrate. Growth studies have establish that the enzyme is inducible, appears to serve a catabolic role, and is specifically induced by one or more unidentified components of seawater as well as various anthropogenic xenobiotic compounds. A blast search of the primary sequence of the enzyme, recovered from the genomic sequence of the isolate, has placed this atypical BVMO in the context of the several hundred known members of the flavoprotein monooxygenase superfamily. A particular feature of this BVMO lies in its truncated C‐terminal domain, which results in a relatively small protein (357 amino acids; 38.4 kDa). In addition, metagenomic screening has been conducted on DNA recovered from an extensive range of marine environmental samples to gauge the relative abundance and distribution of similar enzymes within the global marine microbial community. Although low, abundance was detected in samples from many marine provinces, confirming the potential for biodiscovery in marine microorganisms.
PMCID: PMC3815331  PMID: 22414193
18.  Host cell and expression engineering for development of an E. coli ketoreductase catalyst: Enhancement of formate dehydrogenase activity for regeneration of NADH 
Enzymatic NADH or NADPH-dependent reduction is a widely applied approach for the synthesis of optically active organic compounds. The overall biocatalytic conversion usually involves in situ regeneration of the expensive NAD(P)H. Oxidation of formate to carbon dioxide, catalyzed by formate dehydrogenase (EC; FDH), presents an almost ideal process solution for coenzyme regeneration that has been well established for NADH. Because isolated FDH is relatively unstable under a range of process conditions, whole cells often constitute the preferred form of the biocatalyst, combining the advantage of enzyme protection in the cellular environment with ease of enzyme production. However, the most prominent FDH used in biotransformations, the enzyme from the yeast Candida boidinii, is usually expressed in limiting amounts of activity in the prime host for whole cell biocatalysis, Escherichia coli. We therefore performed expression engineering with the aim of enhancing FDH activity in an E. coli ketoreductase catalyst. The benefit resulting from improved NADH regeneration capacity is demonstrated in two transformations of technological relevance: xylose conversion into xylitol, and synthesis of (S)-1-(2-chlorophenyl)ethanol from o-chloroacetophenone.
As compared to individual expression of C. boidinii FDH in E. coli BL21 (DE3) that gave an intracellular enzyme activity of 400 units/gCDW, co-expression of the FDH with the ketoreductase (Candida tenuis xylose reductase; XR) resulted in a substantial decline in FDH activity. The remaining FDH activity of only 85 U/gCDW was strongly limiting the overall catalytic activity of the whole cell system. Combined effects from increase in FDH gene copy number, supply of rare tRNAs in a Rosetta strain of E. coli, dampened expression of the ketoreductase, and induction at low temperature (18°C) brought up the FDH activity threefold to a level of 250 U/gCDW while reducing the XR activity by just 19% (1140 U/gCDW). The E. coli whole-cell catalyst optimized for intracellular FDH activity showed improved performance in the synthesis of (S)-1-(2-chlorophenyl)ethanol, reflected in a substantial, up to 5-fold enhancement of productivity (0.37 g/gCDW) and yield (95% based on 100 mM ketone used) as compared to the reference catalyst. For xylitol production, the benefit of enhanced FDH expression was observed on productivity only after elimination of the mass transfer resistance caused by the cell membrane.
Expression engineering of C. boidinii FDH is an important strategy to optimize E. coli whole-cell reductase catalysts that employ intracellular formate oxidation for regeneration of NADH. Increased FDH-activity was reflected by higher reduction yields of D-xylose and o-chloroacetophenone conversions provided that mass transfer limitations were overcome.
PMCID: PMC3278346  PMID: 22236335
19.  Role of L-alanine for redox self-sufficient amination of alcohols 
In white biotechnology biocatalysis represents a key technology for chemical functionalization of non-natural compounds. The plasmid-born overproduction of an alcohol dehydrogenase, an L-alanine-dependent transaminase and an alanine dehydrogenase allows for redox self-sufficient amination of alcohols in whole cell biotransformation. Here, conditions to optimize the whole cell biocatalyst presented in (Bioorg Med Chem 22:5578–5585, 2014), and the role of L-alanine for efficient amine functionalization of 1,10-decanediol to 1,10-diaminodecane were analyzed.
The enzymes of the cascade for amine functionalization of alcohols were characterized in vitro to find optimal conditions for an efficient process. Transaminase from Chromobacterium violaceum, TaCv, showed three-fold higher catalytic efficiency than transaminase from Vibrio fluvialis, TaVf, and improved production at 37°C. At 42°C, TaCv was more active, which matched thermostable alcohol dehydrogenase and alanine dehydrogenase and improved the 1,10-diaminodecane production rate four-fold. To study the role of L-alanine in the whole cell biotransformation, the L-alanine concentration was varied and 1,10.diaminodecane formation tested with constant 10 mM 1,10- decanediol and 100 mM NH4Cl. Only 5.6% diamine product were observed without added L-alanine. L-alanine concentrations equimolar to that of the alcohol enabled for 94% product formation but higher L-alanine concentrations allowed for 100% product formation. L-alanine was consumed by the E. coli biocatalyst, presumably due to pyruvate catabolism since up to 16 mM acetate accumulated. Biotransformation employing E. coli strain YYC202/pTrc99a-ald-adh-taCv, which is unable to catabolize pyruvate, resulted in conversion with a selectivity of 42 mol-%. Biotransformation with E. coli strains only lacking pyruvate oxidase PoxB showed similar reduced amination of 1,10-decanediol indicating that oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate to acetate by PoxB is primarily responsible for pyruvate catabolism during redox self-sufficient amination of alcohols using this whole cell biocatalyst.
The replacement of the transaminase TaVf by TaCv, which showed higher activity at 42°C, in the artificial operon ald-adh-ta improved amination of alcohols in whole cell biotransformation. The addition of L-alanine, which was consumed by E. coli via pyruvate catabolism, was required for 100% product formation possibly by providing maintenance energy. Metabolic engineering revealed that pyruvate catabolism occurred primarily via oxidative decarboxylation to acetate by PoxB under the chosen biotranformation conditions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12934-014-0189-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4336473  PMID: 25612558
Redox self-sufficient amination; Whole cell biotransformation; Escherichia coli; Transaminase; Chromobacterium violaceum; Energy maintenance; Acetate formation; Pyruvate oxidase; Phosphate acetyltransferase; Acetate kinase
20.  Engineering NAD+ availability for Escherichia coli whole-cell biocatalysis: a case study for dihydroxyacetone production 
Whole-cell redox biocatalysis has been intensively explored for the production of valuable compounds because excellent selectivity is routinely achieved. Although the cellular cofactor level, redox state and the corresponding enzymatic activity are expected to have major effects on the performance of the biocatalysts, our ability remains limited to predict the outcome upon variation of those factors as well as the relationship among them.
In order to investigate the effects of cofactor availability on whole-cell redox biocatalysis, we devised recombinant Escherichia coli strains for the production of dihydroxyacetone (DHA) catalyzed by the NAD+-dependent glycerol dehydrogenase (GldA). In this model system, a water-forming NAD+ oxidase (NOX) and a NAD+ transporter (NTT4) were also co-expressed for cofactor regeneration and extracellular NAD+ uptake, respectively. We found that cellular cofactor level, NAD+/NADH ratio and NOX activity were not only strain-dependent, but also growth condition-dependent, leading to significant differences in specific DHA titer among different whole-cell biocatalysts. The host E. coli DH5α had the highest DHA specific titer of 0.81 g/gDCW with the highest NAD+/NADH ratio of 6.7 and NOX activity of 3900 U. The biocatalyst had a higher activity when induced with IPTG at 37°C for 8 h compared with those at 30°C for 8 h and 18 h. When cells were transformed with the ntt4 gene, feeding NAD+ during the cell culture stage increased cellular NAD(H) level by 1.44 fold and DHA specific titer by 1.58 fold to 2.13 g/gDCW. Supplementing NAD+ during the biotransformation stage was also beneficial to cellular NAD(H) level and DHA production, and the highest DHA productivity reached 0.76 g/gDCW/h. Cellular NAD(H) level, NAD+/NADH ratio, and NOX and GldA activity dropped over time during the biotransformation process.
High NAD+/NADH ratio driving by NOX was very important for DHA production. Once cofactor was efficiently cycled, high cellular NAD(H) level was also beneficial for whole-cell redox biocatalysis. Our results indicated that NAD+ transporter could be applied to manipulate redox cofactor level for biocatalysis. Moreover, we suggested that genetically designed redox transformation should be carefully profiled for further optimizing whole-cell biocatalysis.
PMCID: PMC3831814  PMID: 24209782
Cofactor engineering; NAD(H) level; NAD+ transporter; Escherichia coli; Dihydroxyacetone; Whole-cell biocatalysis
21.  Metabolism of alkenes and ketones by Candida maltosa and related yeasts 
AMB Express  2014;4:75.
Knowledge is scarce about the degradation of ketones in yeasts. For bacteria a subterminal degradation of alkanes to ketones and their further metabolization has been described which always involved Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs). In addition, the question has to be clarified whether alkenes are converted to ketones, in particular for the oil degrading yeast Candida maltosa little is known. In this study we show the degradation of the aliphatic ketone dodecane-2-one by Candida maltosa and the related yeasts Candida tropicalis, Candida catenulata and Candida albicans as well as Trichosporon asahii and Yarrowia lipolytica. One pathway is initiated by the formation of decyl acetate, resulting from a Baeyer-Villiger-oxidation of this ketone. Beyond this, an initial reduction to dodecane-2-ol by a keto reductase was clearly shown. In addition, two different ways to metabolize dodec-1-ene were proposed. One involved the formation of dodecane-2-one and the other one a conversion leading to carboxylic and dicarboxylic acids. Furthermore the induction of ketone degrading enzymes by dodecane-2-one and dodec-1-ene was shown. Interestingly, with dodecane no subterminal degradation products were detected and it did not induce any enzymes to convert dodecane-2-one.
PMCID: PMC4192553  PMID: 25309846
Hydrocarbon; alkene; ketone; Candida; yeast; biotransformation
22.  Molecular Insight into Substrate Recognition and Catalysis of Baeyer–Villiger Monooxygenase MtmOIV, the Key Frame Modifying Enzyme in the Biosynthesis of Anticancer Agent Mithramycin 
ACS chemical biology  2013;8(11):10.1021/cb400399b.
Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) have been shown to play key roles for the biosynthesis of important natural products. MtmOIV, a homodimeric FAD- and NADPH-dependent BVMO, catalyzes the key frame-modifying steps of the mithramycin biosynthetic pathway, including an oxidative C-C bond cleavage, by converting its natural substrate premithramycin B into mithramycin DK, the immediate precursor of mithramycin. The drastically improved protein structure of MtmOIV along with the high-resolution structure of MtmOIV in complex with its natural substrate premithramycin B are reported here, revealing previously undetected key residues that are important for substrate recognition and catalysis. Kinetic analyses of selected mutants allowed us to probe the substrate binding pocket of MtmOIV, and also to discover the putative NADPH binding site. This is the first substrate-bound structure of MtmOIV providing new insights into substrate recognition and catalysis, which paves the way for the future design of a tailored enzyme for the chemo-enzymatic preparation of novel mithramycin analogues.
PMCID: PMC3830731  PMID: 23992662
23.  Cloning and Characterization of a Gene Cluster Involved in Cyclopentanol Metabolism in Comamonas sp. Strain NCIMB 9872 and Biotransformations Effected by Escherichia coli-Expressed Cyclopentanone 1,2-Monooxygenase† 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2002;68(11):5671-5684.
Cyclopentanone 1,2-monooxygenase, a flavoprotein produced by Pseudomonas sp. strain NCIMB 9872 upon induction by cyclopentanol or cyclopentanone (M. Griffin and P. W. Trudgill, Biochem. J. 129:595-603, 1972), has been utilized as a biocatalyst in Baeyer-Villiger oxidations. To further explore this biocatalytic potential and to discover new genes, we have cloned and sequenced a 16-kb chromosomal locus of strain 9872 that is herein reclassified as belonging to the genus Comamonas. Sequence analysis revealed a cluster of genes and six potential open reading frames designated and grouped in at least four possible transcriptional units as (orf11-orf10-orf9)-(cpnE-cpnD-orf6-cpnC)-(cpnR-cpnB-cpnA)-(orf3-orf4 [partial 3′ end]). The cpnABCDE genes encode enzymes for the five-step conversion of cyclopentanol to glutaric acid catalyzed by cyclopentanol dehydrogenase, cyclopentanone 1,2-monooxygenase, a ring-opening 5-valerolactone hydrolase, 5-hydroxyvalerate dehydrogenase, and 5-oxovalerate dehydrogenase, respectively. Inactivation of cpnB by using a lacZ-Kmr cassette resulted in a strain that was not capable of growth on cyclopentanol or cyclopentanone as a sole carbon and energy source. The presence of σ54-dependent regulatory elements in front of the divergently transcribed cpnB and cpnC genes supports the notion that cpnR is a regulatory gene of the NtrC type. Knowledge of the nucleotide sequence of the cpn genes was used to construct isopropyl-β-thio-d-galactoside-inducible clones of Escherichia coli cells that overproduce the five enzymes of the cpn pathway. The substrate specificities of CpnA and CpnB were studied in particular to evaluate the potential of these enzymes and establish the latter recombinant strain as a bioreagent for Baeyer-Villiger oxidations. Although frequently nonenantioselective, cyclopentanone 1,2-monooxygenase was found to exhibit a broader substrate range than the related cyclohexanone 1,2-monooxygenase from Acinetobacter sp. strain NCIMB 9871. However, in a few cases opposite enantioselectivity was observed between the two biocatalysts.
PMCID: PMC129933  PMID: 12406764
24.  Crystallization and X-ray diffraction properties of Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenase MtmOIV from the mithramycin biosynthetic pathway in Streptomyces argillaceus  
Crystals of the type I Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenase (BVMO) MtmOIV from the biosynthetic pathway of mithramycin were obtained; the crystals diffracted to 2.69 Å resolution and belong to the monoclinic space group C2 (a = 143.5, b = 114.2, c = 137.8 Å β = 102.5°). Light scattering indicates that MtmOIV is a dimer of 127 kDa in solution, while in the crystalline state the data are consistent with two dimers in the asymmetric unit.
The Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenase MtmOIV from Streptomyces argillaceus is a 56 kDa FAD-dependent and NADPH-dependent enzyme that is responsible for the key frame-modifying step in the biosynthesis of the natural product mithramycin. Crystals of MtmOIV were flash-cooled and diffracted to 2.69 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation on beamline SER-CAT 22-ID at the Advanced Photon Source. Crystals of MtmOIV are monoclinic and light-scattering data reveal that the enzyme forms dimers in solution. The rotation function suggests the presence of two dimers in the asymmetric unit. l-­Selenomethionine-incorporated MtmOIV has been obtained. Structural solution combining molecular-replacement phases and anomalous phases from selenium is in progress.
PMCID: PMC1978135  PMID: 16511225
mithramycin; MtmOIV; Baeyer–Villiger monooxygenase; FAD-dependent; NADPH-dependent
25.  Characterization of cytochrome P450 monooxygenase CYP154H1 from the thermophilic soil bacterium Thermobifida fusca 
Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases are valuable biocatalysts due to their ability to hydroxylate unactivated carbon atoms using molecular oxygen. We have cloned the gene for a new cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, named CYP154H1, from the moderately thermophilic soil bacterium Thermobifida fusca. The enzyme was overexpressed in Escherichia coli at up to 14% of total soluble protein and purified to homogeneity in three steps. CYP154H1 activity was reconstituted using putidaredoxin reductase and putidaredoxin from Pseudomonas putida DSM 50198 as surrogate electron transfer partners. In biocatalytic reactions with different aliphatic and aromatic substrates of varying size, the enzyme converted small aromatic and arylaliphatic compounds like ethylbenzene, styrene, and indole. Furthermore, CYP154H1 also accepted different arylaliphatic sulfides as substrates chemoselectively forming the corresponding sulfoxides and sulfones. The enzyme is moderately thermostable with an apparent melting temperature of 67°C and exhibited still 90% of initial activity after incubation at 50°C.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00253-010-2965-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3036808  PMID: 21057946
Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase; Thermobifida fusca; Enzyme catalysis; Thermostable enzyme; Hydroxylation

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