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1.  Cloning and Characterization of a Weissella confusa Dextransucrase and Its Application in High Fibre Baking 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116418.
Wheat bran offers health benefits as a baking ingredient, but is detrimental to bread textural quality. Dextran production by microbial fermentation improves sourdough bread volume and freshness, but extensive acid production during fermentation may negate this effect. Enzymatic production of dextran in wheat bran was tested to determine if dextran-containing bran could be used in baking without disrupting bread texture. The Weissella confusa VTT E-90392 dextransucrase gene was sequenced and His-tagged dextransucrase Wc392-rDSR was produced in Lactococcus lactis. Purified enzyme was characterized using 14C-sucrose radioisotope and reducing value-based assays, the former yielding Km and Vmax values of 14.7 mM and 8.2 μmol/(mg∙min), respectively, at the pH optimum of 5.4. The structure and size of in vitro dextran product was similar to dextran produced in vivo. Dextran (8.1% dry weight) was produced in wheat bran in 6 h using Wc392-rDSR. Bran with and without dextran was used in wheat baking at 20% supplementation level. Dextran presence improved bread softness and neutralized bran-induced volume loss, clearly demonstrating the potential of using dextransucrases in bran bioprocessing for use in baking.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116418
PMCID: PMC4300183  PMID: 25603169
2.  Methods for identifying lipoxygenase producing microorganisms on agar plates 
AMB Express  2012;2:17.
Plate assays for lipoxygenase producing microorganisms on agar plates have been developed. Both potassium iodide-starch and indamine dye formation methods were effective for detecting soybean lipoxygenase activity on agar plates. A positive result was also achieved using the β-carotene bleaching method, but the sensitivity of this method was lower than the other two methods. The potassium iodide-starch and indamine dye formation methods were also applied for detecting lipoxygenase production by Trichoderma reesei and Pichia pastoris transformants expressing the lipoxygenase gene of the fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis. In both cases lipoxygenase production in the transformants could be identified. For detection of the G. graminis lipoxygenase produced by Aspergillus nidulans the potassium iodide-starch method was successful. When Escherichia coli was grown on agar and soybean lipoxygenase was applied on the culture lipoxygenase activity could clearly be detected by the indamine dye formation method. This suggests that the method has potential for screening of metagenomic libraries in E. coli for lipoxygenase activity.
doi:10.1186/2191-0855-2-17
PMCID: PMC3350414  PMID: 22449314
3.  Preliminary X-ray analysis of twinned crystals of sarcosine dimethylglycine methyltransferase from Halorhodospira halochoris  
The crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of sarcosine dimethylglycine methyltransferase from H. halochoris is reported.
Sarcosine dimethylglycine methyltransferase (EC 2.1.1.157) is an enzyme from the extremely halophilic anaerobic bacterium Halorhodospira halochoris. This enzyme catalyzes the twofold methylation of sarcosine to betaine, with S-­adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) as the methyl-group donor. This study presents the crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of recombinant sarcosine dimethylglycine methyltransferase produced in Escherichia coli. Mass spectroscopy was used to determine the purity and homogeneity of the enzyme material. Two different crystal forms, which initially appeared to be hexagonal and tetragonal, were obtained. However, on analyzing the diffraction data it was discovered that both crystal forms were pseudo-merohedrally twinned. The true crystal systems were monoclinic and orthorhombic. The monoclinic crystal diffracted to a maximum of 2.15 Å resolution and the orthorhombic crystal diffracted to 1.8 Å resolution.
doi:10.1107/S1744309109026232
PMCID: PMC2720339  PMID: 19652345
sarcosine dimethylglycine methyltransferase; Halorhodospira halochoris; twinning
4.  Characterization of Glycine Sarcosine N-Methyltransferase and Sarcosine Dimethylglycine N-Methyltransferase 
Glycine betaine is accumulated in cells living in high salt concentrations to balance the osmotic pressure. Glycine sarcosine N-methyltransferase (GSMT) and sarcosine dimethylglycine N-methyltransferase (SDMT) of Ectothiorhodospira halochloris catalyze the threefold methylation of glycine to betaine, with S-adenosylmethionine acting as the methyl group donor. These methyltransferases were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified, and some of their enzymatic properties were characterized. Both enzymes had high substrate specificities and pH optima near the physiological pH. No evidence of cofactors was found. The enzymes showed Michaelis-Menten kinetics for their substrates. The apparent Km and Vmax values were determined for all substrates when the other substrate was present in saturating concentrations. Both enzymes were strongly inhibited by the reaction product S-adenosylhomocysteine. Betaine inhibited the methylation reactions only at high concentrations.
doi:10.1128/AEM.67.5.2044-2050.2001
PMCID: PMC92834  PMID: 11319079

Results 1-4 (4)