Ribitol dehydrogenase from Zymomonas mobilis (ZmRDH) catalyzes the conversion of ribitol to d-ribulose and concomitantly reduces NAD(P)+ to NAD(P)H. A systematic approach involving an initial sequence alignment-based residue screening, followed by a homology model-based screening and site-directed mutagenesis of the screened residues, was used to study the molecular determinants of the cofactor specificity of ZmRDH. A homologous conserved amino acid, Ser156, in the substrate-binding pocket of the wild-type ZmRDH was identified as an important residue affecting the cofactor specificity of ZmRDH. Further insights into the function of the Ser156 residue were obtained by substituting it with other hydrophobic nonpolar or polar amino acids. Substituting Ser156 with the negatively charged amino acids (Asp and Glu) altered the cofactor specificity of ZmRDH toward NAD+ (S156D, [kcat/Km,NAD]/[kcat/Km,NADP] = 10.9, where Km,NAD is the Km for NAD+ and Km,NADP is the Km for NADP+). In contrast, the mutants containing positively charged amino acids (His, Lys, or Arg) at position 156 showed a higher efficiency with NADP+ as the cofactor (S156H, [kcat/Km,NAD]/[kcat/Km,NADP] = 0.11). These data, in addition to those of molecular dynamics and isothermal titration calorimetry studies, suggest that the cofactor specificity of ZmRDH can be modulated by manipulating the amino acid residue at position 156.
Enzymes found in nature have been exploited in industry due to their inherent catalytic properties in complex chemical processes under mild experimental and environmental conditions. The desired industrial goal is often difficult to achieve using the native form of the enzyme. Recent developments in protein engineering have revolutionized the development of commercially available enzymes into better industrial catalysts. Protein engineering aims at modifying the sequence of a protein, and hence its structure, to create enzymes with improved functional properties such as stability, specific activity, inhibition by reaction products, and selectivity towards non-natural substrates. Soluble enzymes are often immobilized onto solid insoluble supports to be reused in continuous processes and to facilitate the economical recovery of the enzyme after the reaction without any significant loss to its biochemical properties. Immobilization confers considerable stability towards temperature variations and organic solvents. Multipoint and multisubunit covalent attachments of enzymes on appropriately functionalized supports via linkers provide rigidity to the immobilized enzyme structure, ultimately resulting in improved enzyme stability. Protein engineering and immobilization techniques are sequential and compatible approaches for the improvement of enzyme properties. The present review highlights and summarizes various studies that have aimed to improve the biochemical properties of industrially significant enzymes.
immobilization; inhibition; protein engineering; selectivity; stability
l-Rhamnose isomerase (l-RhI) from B. halodurans has been purified and crystallized. The crystals of l-RhI belonged to the monoclinic space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 83.2, b = 164.9, c = 92.0 Å, β = 116.0°, and diffracted to 2.5 Å resolution.
l-Rhamnose isomerases catalyze isomerization between l-rhamnose (6-deoxy-l-mannose) and l-rhamnulose (6-deoxy-l-fructose), which is the first step in rhamnose catabolism. l-Rhamnose isomerase from Bacillus halodurans ATCC BAA-125 (BHRI) exhibits interesting characteristics such as high thermostability and selective substrate specificity. BHRI fused with an HHHHHH sequence was purified and crystallized in order to elucidate the molecular basis of its unique enzymatic properties. The crystals were grown by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method and belonged to the monoclinic space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 83.2, b = 164.9, c = 92.0 Å, β = 116.0°. Diffraction data were collected to 2.5 Å resolution. According to a Matthews coefficient calculation, there are four monomers in the asymmetric unit with a V
M of 3.0 Å3 Da−1 and a solvent content of 59.3%. The initial structure of BHRI has been determined by the molecular-replacement method.
Bacillus halodurans; rhamnose isomerase; thermostability
Bacillus licheniformis l-arabinose isomerase (l-AI) is distinguished from other l-AIs by its high degree of substrate specificity for l-arabinose and its high turnover rate. A systematic strategy that included a sequence alignment-based first screening of residues and a homology model-based second screening, followed by site-directed mutagenesis to alter individual screened residues, was used to study the molecular determinants for the catalytic efficiency of B. licheniformis l-AI. One conserved amino acid, Y333, in the substrate binding pocket of the wild-type B. licheniformis l-AI was identified as an important residue affecting the catalytic efficiency of B. licheniformis l-AI. Further insights into the function of residue Y333 were obtained by replacing it with other aromatic, nonpolar hydrophobic amino acids or polar amino acids. Replacing Y333 with the aromatic amino acid Phe did not alter catalytic efficiency toward l-arabinose. In contrast, the activities of mutants containing a hydrophobic amino acid (Ala, Val, or Leu) at position 333 decreased as the size of the hydrophobic side chain of the amino acid decreased. However, mutants containing hydrophilic and charged amino acids, such as Asp, Glu, and Lys, showed almost no activity with l-arabinose. These data and a molecular dynamics simulation suggest that Y333 is involved in the catalytic efficiency of B. licheniformis l-AI.
“Protaminobacter rubrum” sucrose isomerase (SI) catalyzes the isomerization of sucrose to isomaltulose and trehalulose. SI catalyzes the hydrolysis of the glycosidic bond with retention of the anomeric configuration via a mechanism that involves a covalent glycosyl enzyme intermediate. It possesses a 325RLDRD329 motif, which is highly conserved and plays an important role in fructose binding. The predicted three-dimensional active-site structure of SI was superimposed on and compared with those of other α-glucosidases in family 13. We identified two Arg residues that may play important roles in SI-substrate binding with weak ionic strength. Mutations at Arg325 and Arg328 in the fructose-binding site reduced isomaltulose production and slightly increased trehalulose production. In addition, the perturbed interactions between the mutated residues and fructose at the fructose-binding site seemed to have altered the binding affinity of the site, where glucose could now bind and be utilized as a second substrate for isomaltose production. From eight mutant enzymes designed based on structural analysis, the R325Q mutant enzyme exhibiting high relative activity for isomaltose production was selected. We recorded 40.0% relative activity at 15% (wt/vol) additive glucose with no temperature shift; the maximum isomaltose concentration and production yield were 57.9 g liter−1 and 0.55 g of isomaltose/g of sucrose, respectively. Furthermore, isomaltose production increased with temperature but decreased at a temperature of >35°C. Maximum isomaltose production (75.7 g liter−1) was recorded at 35°C, and its yield for the consumed sucrose was 0.61 g g−1 with the addition of 15% (wt/vol) glucose. The relative activity for isomaltose production increased progressively with temperature and reached 45.9% under the same conditions.
The conversion yield of d-psicose from d-fructose by a d-psicose 3-epimerase from Agrobacterium tumefaciens increased with increasing molar ratios of borate to fructose, up to a ratio of 0.6. The formation of the psicose-borate complex was the result of the higher binding affinity of borate for psicose than for fructose. The formed psicose-borate complex did not participate in the conversion reaction, acting instead as if the product had been removed. Thus, more fructose was converted to psicose in order to restore the equilibrium. The maximum conversion yield of psicose with borate was about twofold that obtained without borate and occurred at a 0.6 molar ratio of borate to fructose. Above this ratio, the conversion yield decreased with increasing ratios, because the amount of fructose available decreased through the formation of the initial fructose-borate complex. The structures of the two sugar-borate complexes, determined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, were α-d-psicofuranose cis-C-3,4 diol borate and β-d-fructopyranose cis-C-4,5 diol borate.
Nitrilase from Rhodococcus rhodochrous ATCC 33278 hydrolyses both aliphatic and aromatic nitriles. Replacing Tyr-142 in the wild-type enzyme with the aromatic amino acid phenylalanine did not alter specificity for either substrate. However, the mutants containing non-polar aliphatic amino acids (alanine, valine and leucine) at position 142 were specific only for aromatic substrates such as benzonitrile, m-tolunitrile and 2-cyanopyridine, and not for aliphatic substrates. These results suggest that the hydrolysis of substrates probably involves the conjugated π-electron system of the aromatic ring of substrate or Tyr-142 as an electron acceptor. Moreover, the mutants containing charged amino acids such as aspartate, glutamate, arginine and asparagine at position 142 displayed no activity towards any nitrile, possibly owing to the disruption of hydrophobic interactions with substrates. Thus aromaticity of substrate or amino acid at position 142 in R. rhodochrous nitrilase is required for enzyme activity.
aliphatic nitrile; aromatic nitrile; nitrilase; Rhodococcus rhodochrous; substrate specificity; LB, Luria–Bertani
An Escherichia coli galactose kinase gene knockout (ΔgalK) strain, which contains the l-arabinose isomerase gene (araA) to isomerize d-galactose to d-tagatose, showed a high conversion yield of tagatose compared with the original galK strain because galactose was not metabolized by endogenous galactose kinase. In whole cells of the ΔgalK strain, the isomerase-catalyzed reaction exhibited an equilibrium shift toward tagatose, producing a tagatose fraction of 68% at 37°C, whereas the purified l-arabinose isomerase gave a tagatose equilibrium fraction of 36%. These equilibrium fractions are close to those predicted from the measured equilibrium constants of the isomerization reaction catalyzed in whole cells and by the purified enzyme. The equilibrium shift in these cells resulted from the higher uptake and lower release rates for galactose, which is a common sugar substrate, than for tagatose, which is a rare sugar product. A ΔmglB mutant had decreased uptake rates for galactose and tagatose, indicating that a methylgalactoside transport system, MglABC, is the primary contributing transporter for the sugars. In the present study, whole-cell conversion using differential selectivity of the cell membrane was proposed as a method for shifting the equilibrium in sugar isomerization reactions.
Two-component oxygenases catalyze a wide variety of important oxidation reactions. Recently we characterized a novel arylamine N-oxygenase (PrnD), a new member of the two-component oxygenase family (J. Lee et al., J. Biol. Chem. 280:36719-36728, 2005). Although arylamine N-oxygenases are widespread in nature, aminopyrrolnitrin N-oxygenase (PrnD) represents the only biochemically and mechanistically characterized arylamine N-oxygenase to date. Here we report the use of bioinformatic and biochemical tools to identify and characterize the reductase component (PrnF) involved in the PrnD-catalyzed unusual arylamine oxidation. The prnF gene was identified via sequence analysis of the whole genome of Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5 and subsequently cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The purified PrnF protein catalyzes reduction of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) by NADH with a kcat of 65 s−1 (Km = 3.2 μM for FAD and 43.1 μM for NADH) and supplies reduced FAD to the PrnD oxygenase component. Unlike other known reductases in two-component oxygenase systems, PrnF strictly requires NADH as an electron donor to reduce FAD and requires unusual protein-protein interaction with the PrnD component for the efficient transfer of reduced FAD. This PrnF enzyme represents the first cloned and characterized flavin reductase component in a novel two-component arylamine oxygenase system.
Molecular modeling and mutational analysis (site-directed mutagenesis and saturation mutagenesis) were used to probe the molecular determinants of the substrate specificity of aminopyrrolnitrin oxygenase (PrnD) from Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5. There are 17 putative substrate-contacting residues, and mutations at two of the positions, positions 312 and 277, could modulate the enzyme substrate specificity separately or in combination. Interestingly, several of the mutants obtained exhibited higher catalytic efficiency (approximately two- to sevenfold higher) with the physiological substrate aminopyrrolnitrin than the wild-type enzyme exhibited.
Xylose reductase (XR) is a key enzyme in d-xylose metabolism, catalyzing the reduction of d-xylose to xylitol. An NADH-preferring XR was purified to homogeneity from Candida parapsilosis KFCC-10875, and the xyl1 gene encoding a 324-amino-acid polypeptide with a molecular mass of 36,629 Da was subsequently isolated using internal amino acid sequences and 5′ and 3′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The C. parapsilosis XR showed high catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km = 1.46 s−1 mM−1) for d-xylose and showed unusual coenzyme specificity, with greater catalytic efficiency with NADH (kcat/Km = 1.39 × 104 s−1 mM−1) than with NADPH (kcat/Km = 1.27 × 102 s−1 mM−1), unlike all other aldose reductases characterized. Studies of initial velocity and product inhibition suggest that the reaction proceeds via a sequentially ordered Bi Bi mechanism, which is typical of XRs. Candida tropicalis KFCC-10960 has been reported to have the highest xylitol production yield and rate. It has been suggested, however, that NADPH-dependent XRs, including the XR of C. tropicalis, are limited by the coenzyme availability and thus limit the production of xylitol. The C. parapsilosis xyl1 gene was placed under the control of an alcohol dehydrogenase promoter and integrated into the genome of C. tropicalis. The resulting recombinant yeast, C. tropicalis BN-1, showed higher yield and productivity (by 5 and 25%, respectively) than the wild strain and lower production of by-products, thus facilitating the purification process. The XRs partially purified from C. tropicalis BN-1 exhibited dual coenzyme specificity for both NADH and NADPH, indicating the functional expression of the C. parapsilosis xyl1 gene in C. tropicalis BN-1. This is the first report of the cloning of an xyl1 gene encoding an NADH-preferring XR and its functional expression in C. tropicalis, a yeast currently used for industrial production of xylitol.
Mannitol biosynthesis in Candida magnoliae HH-01 (KCCM-10252), a yeast strain that is currently used for the industrial production of mannitol, is catalyzed by mannitol dehydrogenase (MDH) (EC 188.8.131.52). In this study, NAD(P)H-dependent MDH was purified to homogeneity from C. magnoliae HH-01 by ion-exchange chromatography, hydrophobic interaction chromatography, and affinity chromatography. The relative molecular masses of C. magnoliae MDH, as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and size-exclusion chromatography, were 35 and 142 kDa, respectively, indicating that the enzyme is a tetramer. This enzyme catalyzed both fructose reduction and mannitol oxidation. The pH and temperature optima for fructose reduction and mannitol oxidation were 7.5 and 37°C and 10.0 and 40°C, respectively. C. magnoliae MDH showed high substrate specificity and high catalytic efficiency (kcat = 823 s−1, Km = 28.0 mM, and kcat/Km = 29.4 mM−1 s−1) for fructose, which may explain the high mannitol production observed in this strain. Initial velocity and product inhibition studies suggest that the reaction proceeds via a sequential ordered Bi Bi mechanism, and C. magnoliae MDH is specific for transferring the 4-pro-S hydrogen of NADPH, which is typical of a short-chain dehydrogenase reductase (SDR). The internal amino acid sequences of C. magnoliae MDH showed a significant homology with SDRs from various sources, indicating that the C. magnoliae MDH is an NAD(P)H-dependent tetrameric SDR. Although MDHs have been purified and characterized from several other sources, C. magnoliae MDH is distinguished from other MDHs by its high substrate specificity and catalytic efficiency for fructose only, which makes C. magnoliae MDH the ideal choice for industrial applications, including enzymatic synthesis of mannitol and salt-tolerant plants.
Erythritol biosynthesis is catalyzed by erythrose reductase, which converts erythrose to erythritol. Erythrose reductase, however, has never been characterized in terms of amino acid sequence and kinetics. In this study, NAD(P)H-dependent erythrose reductase was purified to homogeneity from Candida magnoliae KFCC 11023 by ion exchange, gel filtration, affinity chromatography, and preparative electrophoresis. The molecular weights of erythrose reductase determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and gel filtration chromatography were 38,800 and 79,000, respectively, suggesting that the enzyme is homodimeric. Partial amino acid sequence analysis indicates that the enzyme is closely related to other yeast aldose reductases. C. magnoliae erythrose reductase catalyzes the reduction of various aldehydes. Among aldoses, erythrose was the preferred substrate (Km = 7.9 mM; kcat/Km = 0.73 mM−1 s−1). This enzyme had a dual coenzyme specificity with greater catalytic efficiency with NADH (kcat/Km = 450 mM−1 s−1) than with NADPH (kcat/Km = 5.5 mM−1 s−1), unlike previously characterized aldose reductases, and is specific for transferring the 4-pro-R hydrogen of NADH, which is typical of members of the aldo/keto reductase superfamily. Initial velocity and product inhibition studies are consistent with the hypothesis that the reduction proceeds via a sequential ordered mechanism. The enzyme required sulfhydryl compounds for optimal activity and was strongly inhibited by Cu2+ and quercetin, a strong aldose reductase inhibitor, but was not inhibited by aldehyde reductase inhibitors and did not catalyze the reduction of the substrates for carbonyl reductase. These data indicate that the C. magnoliae erythrose reductase is an NAD(P)H-dependent homodimeric aldose reductase with an unusual dual coenzyme specificity.
The yeast Torula corallina is a strong erythritol producer that is used in the industrial production of erythritol. However, melanin accumulation during culture represents a serious problem for the purification of erythritol from the fermentation broth. Melanin biosynthesis inhibitors such as 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin inhibitors were added to the T. corallina cultures. Only the DHN-melanin inhibitors showed an effect on melanin production, which suggests that the melanin formed during the culturing of T. corallina is derived from DHN. This finding was confirmed by the detection of a shunt product of the pentaketide pathway, flaviolin, and elemental analysis. Among the DHN-melanin inhibitors, tricyclazole was the most effective. Supplementation with tricyclazole enhanced the production of erythritol while significantly inhibiting the production of DHN-melanin and DHN-melanin biosynthetic enzymes, such as trihydroxynaphthalene reductase. The erythrose reductase from T. corallina was purified to homogeneity by ion-exchange and affinity chromatography. Purified erythrose reductase was significantly inhibited in vitro in a noncompetitive manner by elevated levels of DHN-melanin. In contrast, the level of erythrose reductase activity was unaffected by increasing concentrations of tricyclazole. These results suggest that supplemental tricyclazole reduces the production of DHN-melanin, which may lead to a reduction in the inhibition of erythrose reductase and a higher yield of erythritol. This is the first report to demonstrate that melanin biosynthesis inhibitors increase the production of a sugar alcohol in T. corallina.
Torula corallina, a strain presently being used for the industrial production of erythritol, has the highest erythritol yield ever reported for an erythritol-producing microorganism. The increased production of erythritol by Torula corallina with trace elements such as Cu2+ has been thoroughly reported, but the mechanism by which Cu2+ increases the production of erythritol has not been studied. This study demonstrated that supplemental Cu2+ enhanced the production of erythritol, while it significantly decreased the production of a major by-product that accumulates during erythritol fermentation, which was identified as fumarate by instrumental analyses. Erythrose reductase, a key enzyme that converts erythrose to erythritol in T. corallina, was purified to homogeneity by chromatographic methods, including ion-exchange and affinity chromatography. In vitro, purified erythrose reductase was significantly inhibited noncompetitively by increasing the fumarate concentration. In contrast, the enzyme activity remained almost constant regardless of Cu2+ concentration. This suggests that supplemental Cu2+ reduced the production of fumarate, a strong inhibitor of erythrose reductase, which led to less inhibition of erythrose reductase and a high yield of erythritol. This is the first report that suggests catabolite repression by a tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate in T. corallina.