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1.  Method of preparing an equimolar DNA mixture for one-step DNA assembly of over 50 fragments 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10655.
In the era of synthetic biology, techniques for rapidly constructing a designer long DNA from short DNA fragments are desired. To realize this, we attempted to establish a method for one-step DNA assembly of unprecedentedly large numbers of fragments. The basic technology is the Ordered Gene Assembly in Bacillus subtilis (OGAB) method, which uses the plasmid transformation system of B. subtilis. Since this method doesn’t require circular ligation products but needs tandem repeat ligation products, the degree of deviation in the molar concentration of the material DNAs is the only determinant that affects the efficiency of DNA assembly. The strict standardization of the size of plasmids that clone the DNA block and the measurement of the block in the state of intact plasmid improve the reliability of this step, with the coefficient of variation of the molar concentrations becoming 7%. By coupling this method with the OGAB method, one-step assembly of more than 50 DNA fragments becomes feasible.
PMCID: PMC4438487  PMID: 25990947
2.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of a novel haloalkane dehalogenase DbeA from Bradyrhizobium elkani USDA94 
A novel haloalkane dehalogenase DbeA from B. elkani USDA94 and its mutant variant DbeA1 were crystallized and diffraction data were collected to 2.2 Å resolution.
A novel enzyme, DbeA, belonging to the haloalkane dehalogenase family (EC was isolated from Bradyrhizobium elkani USDA94. This halo­alkane dehalogenase is closely related to the DbjA enzyme from B. japonicum USDA110 (71% sequence identity), but has different biochemical properties. DbeA is generally less active and has a higher specificity towards brominated and iodinated compounds than DbjA. In order to understand the altered activity and specificity of DbeA, its mutant variant DbeA1, which carries the unique fragment of DbjA, was also constructed. Both wild-type DbeA and DbeA1 were crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals of DbeA belonged to the primitive orthorhombic space group P212121, while the crystals of DbeA1 belonged to the monoclinic space group C2. Diffraction data were collected to 2.2 Å resolution for both DbeA and DbeA1 crystals.
PMCID: PMC2664758  PMID: 19342778
DbeA; haloalkane dehalogenases; Bradyrhizobium elkani USDA94
3.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of a haloalkane dehalogenase, DbjA, from Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA110 
A haloalkane dehalogenase, DbjA, was crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 4000 as a precipitant. The crystal belongs to the orthorhombic system, space group P21212 and diffracts to 1.75 Å resolution.
Haloalkane dehalogenases are key enzymes for the degradation of halogenated aliphatic pollutants. The haloalkane dehalogenase DbjA constitutes a novel substrate-specificity class with high catalytic activity for β-methylated haloalkanes. In order to reveal the mechanism of its substrate specificity, DbjA has been crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The best crystals were obtained using the microseeding technique with a reservoir solution consisting of 17–19.5%(w/v) PEG 4000, 0.2 M calcium acetate and 0.1 M Tris–HCl pH 7.7–8.0. The space group of the DbjA crystal is P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 212.9, b = 117.8, c = 55.8 Å. The crystal diffracts to 1.75 Å resolution.
PMCID: PMC2330215  PMID: 17401198
haloalkane dehalogenases; biodegradation; α/β hydrolases; rhizobia
4.  Complete Nucleotide Sequence of an Exogenously Isolated Plasmid, pLB1, Involved in γ-Hexachlorocyclohexane Degradation▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2006;72(11):6923-6933.
The α-proteobacterial strain Sphingobium japonicum UT26 utilizes a highly chlorinated pesticide, γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH), as a sole source of carbon and energy, and haloalkane dehalogenase LinB catalyzes the second step of γ-HCH degradation in UT26. Functional complementation of a linB mutant of UT26, UT26DB, was performed by the exogenous plasmid isolation technique using HCH-contaminated soil, leading to our successful identification of a plasmid, pLB1, carrying the linB gene. Complete sequencing analysis of pLB1, with a size of 65,998 bp, revealed that it carries (i) 50 totally annotated coding sequences, (ii) an IS6100 composite transposon containing two copies of linB, and (iii) potential genes for replication, maintenance, and conjugative transfer with low levels of similarity to other homologues. A minireplicon assay demonstrated that a 2-kb region containing the predicted repA gene and its upstream region of pLB1 functions as an autonomously replicating unit in UT26. Furthermore, pLB1 was conjugally transferred from UT26DB to other α-proteobacterial strains but not to any of the β- or γ-proteobacterial strains examined to date. These results suggest that this exogenously isolated novel plasmid contributes to the dissemination of at least some genes for γ-HCH degradation in the natural environment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first detailed report of a plasmid involved in γ-HCH degradation.
PMCID: PMC1636184  PMID: 16963556
5.  Two Rhizobial Strains, Mesorhizobium loti MAFF303099 and Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA110, Encode Haloalkane Dehalogenases with Novel Structures and Substrate Specificities 
Haloalkane dehalogenases are key enzymes for the degradation of halogenated aliphatic pollutants. Two rhizobial strains, Mesorhizobium loti MAFF303099 and Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA110, have open reading frames (ORFs), mlr5434 and blr1087, respectively, that encode putative haloalkane dehalogenase homologues. The crude extracts of Escherichia coli strains expressing mlr5434 and blr1087 showed the ability to dehalogenate 18 halogenated compounds, indicating that these ORFs indeed encode haloalkane dehalogenases. Therefore, these ORFs were referred to as dmlA (dehalogenase from Mesorhizobium loti) and dbjA (dehalogenase from Bradyrhizobium japonicum), respectively. The principal component analysis of the substrate specificities of various haloalkane dehalogenases clearly showed that DbjA and DmlA constitute a novel substrate specificity class with extraordinarily high activity towards β-methylated compounds. Comparison of the circular dichroism spectra of DbjA and other dehalogenases strongly suggested that DbjA contains more α-helices than the other dehalogenases. The dehalogenase activity of resting cells and Northern blot analyses both revealed that the dmlA and dbjA genes were expressed under normal culture conditions in MAFF303099 and USDA110 strain cells, respectively.
PMCID: PMC1183339  PMID: 16085827
6.  Degradation of β-Hexachlorocyclohexane by Haloalkane Dehalogenase LinB from Sphingomonas paucimobilis UT26 
β-Hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH) is the most recalcitrant among the α-, β-, γ-, and δ-isomers of HCH and causes serious environmental pollution problems. We demonstrate here that the haloalkane dehalogenase LinB, reported earlier to mediate the second step in the degradation of γ-HCH in Sphingomonas paucimobilis UT26, metabolizes β-HCH to produce 2,3,4,5,6-pentachlorocyclohexanol.
PMCID: PMC1082558  PMID: 15812056

Results 1-6 (6)