AIM: To explore the expression of differential gene expression profiles of target cell between non-invasive submucosal and invasive advanced tumor in colon carcinoma using laser microdissection (LMD) in combination with polypeptide analysis.
METHODS: Normal colon tissue samples from 20 healthy individuals and 30 cancer tissue samples from early non-invasive colon cancer cells were obtained. The cells from these samples were used LMD independently after P27-based amplification. aRNA from advanced colon cancer cells and metastatic cancer cells of 40 cases were applied to LMD and polypeptide analysis, semiquantitative reverse transcribed polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemical assays were used to verify the results of microarray and further identify differentially expressed genes in non-invasive early stages of colon cancer.
RESULTS: Five gene expressions were changed in colon carcinoma cells compared with that of controls. Of the five genes, three genes were downregulated and two were upregulated in invasive submucosal colon carcinoma compared with non-invasive cases. The results were confirmed at the level of aRNA and gene expression. Five genes were further identified as differentially expressed genes in the majority of cases (> 50%, 25/40) in progression of colon cancer, and their expression patterns of which were similar to tumor suppressor genes or oncogenes.
CONCLUSION: This study suggested that combined use of polypeptide analysis might identify early expression profiles of five differential genes associated with the invasion of colon cancer. These results reveal that this gene may be a marker of submucosal invasion in early colon cancer.
Colon cancer; Laser microdissection; Polypeptide analysis
Heterodimeric transcription factor hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) functions as a master regulator of oxygen homeostasis in almost all nucleated mammalian cells. The fundamental process adapted to cellular oxygen alteration largely depends on the refined regulation on its alpha subunit, HIF-1α. Recent studies have unraveled expanding and critical roles of HIF-1α, involving in a multitude of developmental, physiological, and pathophysiological processes. This review will focus on the current knowledge of HIF-1α-targeting genes and its interacting proteins, as well as the concomitant functional relationships between them.
Hypoxia inducible factor-1alpha; targeting gene; interacting protein
Caspases, a family of aspartate-specific cysteine proteases, play a major role in apoptosis and a variety of physiological and pathological processes. Fourteen mammalian caspases have been identified and can be divided into two groups: inflammatory caspases and apoptotic caspases. Based on the structure and function, the apoptotic caspases are further grouped into initiator/apical caspases (caspase-2, -8, -9, and -10) and effector/executioner caspases (caspase-3, -6, and -7). In this paper, we discuss what we have learned about the role of individual effector caspase in mediating both apoptotic and nonapoptotic events, with special emphasis on leukemia-specific oncoproteins in relation to effector caspases.
Background: Stroke volume variation (SVV) has been shown to be a reliable predictor of fluid responsiveness. However, the predictive role of SVV measured by FloTrac/Vigileo system in prediction of fluid responsiveness was unproven in patients undergoing ventilation with low tidal volume. Methods: Fifty patients undergoing elective gastrointestinal surgery were randomly divided into two groups: Group C [n1=20, tidal volume (Vt) = 8 ml/kg, frequency (F) = 12/min] and Group L [n2=30, Vt= 6 ml/kg, F=16/min]. After anesthesia induction, 6% hydroxyethyl starch130/0.4 solution (7 ml/kg) was intravenously transfused. Besides standard haemodynamic monitoring, SVV, cardiac output, cardiac index (CI), stroke volume (SV), stroke volume index (SVI), systemic vascular resistance (SVR) and systemic vascular resistance index (SVRI) were determined with the FloTrac/Vigileo system before and after fluid loading. Results: After fluid loading, the MAP, CVP, SVI and CI increased significantly, whereas the SVV and SVR decreased markedly in both groups. SVI was significantly correlated to the SVV, CVP but not the HR, MAP and SVR. SVI was significantly correlated to the SVV before fluid loading (Group C: r = 0.909; Group L: r = 0.758) but not the HR, MAP, CVP and SVR before fluid loading. The largest area under the ROC curve (AUC) was found for SVV (Group C, 0.852; Group L, 0.814), and the AUC for other preloading indices in two groups ranged from 0.324 to 0.460. Conclusion: SVV measured by FloTrac/Vigileo system can predict fluid responsiveness in patients undergoing ventilation with low tidal volumes during gastrointestinal surgery.
Stroke volume variation; tidal volume; Functional haemodynamic; Fluid balance; Gastrointestinal surgery.
Aims: To investigate the reasonable dose of Voluven for rapid plasma volume expansion during the anaesthesia induction patients receiving gastrointestinal surgery. Methods: Sixty patients were randomly divided into three groups (n=20): Group A (5 ml/kg), Group B (7 ml/kg) and Group C (9 ml/kg). HES 130/0.4 was intravenously transfused at a rate of 0.3 ml/kg/min) at 30 min before anaesthesia induction. Besides standard haemodynamic monitoring, cardiac index (CI), systemic vascular resistance index (SVRI) and stroke volume variation (SVV) was continuously detected with the FloTrac/Vigileo system. Haemodynamic variables were recorded immediately before fluid transfusion (T0), immediately before induction (T1), immediately before intubation (T2), immediately after intubation (T3) and 5 min, 10 min, 20 min and 60 min after intubation (T4-T7). Arterial and venous blood was collected for blood gas analysis, Hb and Hct before volume expansion (t0), immediately after volume expansion (t1) and at 1 h after volume expansion (t2). Oxygen delivery (DO2), oxygen extraction ratio (ERO2) and volume expansion rate were calculated. Results: 1) MAP and CI decreased in Group A in T2~T7 and remained changed in Group B and C. 2) CVP increased in three groups after fluid infusion without significant difference. 3) The decrease in SVRI was more obvious in Group B and C than that in Group A after induction and more obvious in Group C than in Group B in T2-T4 and T6~T7. 4) SVV was lower in Group B and C than that in Group A after intubation, and lower in Group C than that in Group B in T3-T6. 5) Hb and Hct decreased after fluid infusion, and the decrease in Hb and Hct was in the order of C>B>A. 6) Volume expansion rate was in the order of C>B>A. 7) ScvO2, PaO2 and DO2 increased in three groups after fluid infusion and the increase in DO2 was in the order of C>B>A. Conclusions: Rapid plasma volume expansion with Voluven at 7-9 ml/kg can prevent haemodynamic fluctuation during anaesthesia induction, maintain the balance between oxygen supply and oxygen consumption during gastrointestinal surgery, and Voluven at 9 ml/kg can improve the oxygen delivery.
Hydroxyethyl starch; General anaethesia; Haemodynamics; Oxygen balance; Gastrointestinal surgery.
To explore the effect of tumor suppressor in lung cancer 1 (TSLC1) on proliferation and apoptosis in esophageal cancer Eca109 cells.
Material and methods
Eca109 cells were divided into three groups: TSLC1 transfected group (TTG), mock group (MG) and untransfected group (UTG). The TTG and MG were transfected transiently with the pIRES2-EGFP-TSLC1 eukaryotic expression vector and pIRES2-EGFP vector respectively. The UTG was a blank control. The TSLC1 expression in TTG was analyzed with the fluorogram and RT-PCR method. Cell proliferation was measured with 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium (MTT) assay. Cell cycle was measured by flow cytometry (FCM). Cell apoptosis was detected by Annexin-V/PI double staining FCM.
Green color was found in TTG and MG. The band of TSLC1 mRNA of TTG was located at about 1400 bp by RT-PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis assay. The TSLC1 inhibited cell proliferation significantly in MTT assay, and the cell proliferation was slower in TTG than MG and UTG. After TSLC1 transfection, cell numbers increased in G0/G1 phase and decreased in S phase. Forty-eight hours after transfection, the apoptosis rate and death rate of TTG were higher than MG and UTG. Thus TSLC1 induced Eca109 cells to apoptosis.
The TSLC1 gene had a potent effect on cell proliferation inhibition, G1/S cell cycle arrest and induction of cell apoptosis in Eca109 cells.
esophageal carcinoma; TSLC1 gene; transient transfection; cell cycle; apoptosis
MicroRNAs (miRNAs or miR) have been integrated into tumorigenic programs as either oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. The miR-124 was reported to be attenuated in several tumors, such as glioma, medulloblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, its role in cancer remains greatly elusive. In this study, we show that the miR-124 expression is significantly suppressed in human breast cancer specimens, which is reversely correlated to histological grade of the cancer. More intriguingly, ectopic expression of miR-124 in aggressive breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231 and BT-549 strongly inhibits cell motility and invasive capacity, as well as the epithelial–mesenchymal transition process. Also, lentivirus-delivered miR-124 endows MDA-MB-231 cells with the ability to suppress cell colony formation in vitro and pulmonary metastasis in vivo. Further studies have identified the E-cadherin transcription repressor Slug as a direct target gene of miR-124; its downregulation by miR-124 increases the expression of E-cadherin, a hallmark of epithelial cells and a repressor of cell invasion and metastasis. Moreover, knockdown of Slug notably impairs the motility of MDA-MB-231 cells, whereas re-expression of Slug abrogates the reduction of motility and invasion ability induced by miR-124 in MDA-MB-231 cells. These findings highlight an important role for miR-124 in the regulation of invasive and metastatic potential of breast cancer and suggest a potential application of miR-124 in cancer treatment.
Industrial biotechnology has not developed as fast as expected due to some challenges including the emergences of alternative energy sources, especially shale gas, natural gas hydrate (or gas hydrate) and sand oil et al. The weaknesses of microbial or enzymatic processes compared with the chemical processing also make industrial biotech products less competitive with the chemical ones. However, many opportunities are still there if industrial biotech processes can be as similar as the chemical ones. Taking advantages of the molecular biology and synthetic biology methods as well as changing process patterns, we can develop bioprocesses as competitive as chemical ones, these including the minimized cells, open and continuous fermentation processes et al.
Industrial biotechnology; Shale gas; Oil fields; PHB; Bioplastics; Biofuels; Bulk chemicals
Block polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) were reported to be resistant against polymer aging that negatively affects polymer properties. Recently, more and more attempts have been directed to make PHA block copolymers. Diblock copolymers PHB-b-PHHx consisting of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) block covalently bonded with poly-3-hydroxyhexanoate (PHHx) block were for the first time produced successfully by a recombinant Pseudomonas putida KT2442 with its β-oxidation cycle deleted to its maximum.
The chloroform extracted polymers were characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), thermo- and mechanical analysis. NMR confirmed the existence of diblock copolymers consisting of 58 mol% PHB as the short chain length block with 42 mol% PHHx as the medium chain length block. The block copolymers had two glass transition temperatures (Tg) at 2.7°C and −16.4°C, one melting temperature (Tm) at 172.1°C and one cool crystallization temperature (Tc) at 69.1°C as revealed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), respectively. This is the first microbial short-chain-length (scl) and medium-chain-length (mcl) PHA block copolymer reported.
It is possible to produce PHA block copolymers of various kinds using the recombinant Pseudomonas putida KT2442 with its β-oxidation cycle deleted to its maximum. In comparison to a random copolymer poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate (P(HB-co-HHx)) and a blend sample of PHB and PHHx, the PHB-b-PHHx showed improved structural related mechanical properties.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates; PHB; Block copolymer; Pseudomonas putida; 3-hydroxybutyrate; 3-hydroxyhexanoate; Synthetic biology
The purpose of this study was to detect the methylation of the RUNX3 gene promoter in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissue and to explore the association of this methylation with clinical features of NSCLC. In 58 samples of NSCLC tissue and normal adjacent tissue, methylation of the RUNX3 gene promoter was measured by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction. Correlation with clinicopathological characteristics was assessed. The results demonstrated that RUNX3 gene promoter methylation was present in 26/58 (44.8%) of NSCLC tissue samples and 10/58 (17.2%) of normal tissue samples, and that the difference was statistically significant between the two groups (χ2=10.311, p=0.001). Significantly, methylation of the RUNX3 gene promoter correlated with clinical stage, lymph node metastasis and the degree of differentiation (p<0.05) but not with age, gender, smoking history and pathological type (p>0.05). In conclusion, methylation of the RUNX3 gene promoter had a high relevance ratio in NSCLC tissue and correlated with clinical stage, lymph node metastasis and degree of differentiation; thus, this association may have clinical significance in NSCLC.
non-small cell lung cancer; promoter; methylation; RUNX3
Autophagy is a highly conserved, closely regulated homeostatic cellular activity that allows for the bulk degradation of long-lived proteins and cytoplasmic organelles. Its roles in cancer initiation and progression and in determining the response of tumor cells to anticancer therapy are complicated, and only limited investigation has been conducted on the potential significance of autophagy in the pathogenesis and therapeutic response of acute myeloid leukemia. Here we demonstrate that the inducible or transfected expression of the acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)-specific PML-RARα, but not PLZF-RARα or NPM-RARα, fusion protein upregulates constitutive autophagy activation in leukemic and nonleukemic cells, as evaluated by hallmarks for autophagy including transmission electron microscopy. The significant increase in autophagic activity is also found in the leukemic cells-infiltrated bone marrow and spleen from PML-RARα-transplanted leukemic mice. The autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine significantly abrogates the autophagic events upregulated by PML-RARα, while the autophagic flux assay reveals that the fusion protein induces autophagy by increasing the on-rate of autophagic sequestration. Furthermore, this modulation of autophagy by PML-RARα is possibly mediated by a decreased activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway. Finally, we also show that autophagy contributes to the anti-apoptotic function of the PML-RARα protein. Given the critical role of the PML-RARα oncoprotein in APL pathogenesis, this study suggests an important role of autophagy in the development and treatment of this disease.
autophagy; acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL); PML-RARα; mTOR; apoptosis
To construct a eukaryotic expression vector of the tumour suppressor in lung cancer 1 (TSLC1) gene, so as to explore the mechanisms of tumour suppression of the gene theoretically.
Material and methods
The open reading frame (ORF) of TSLC1 gene was amplified with RT-PCR from normal human foreskin acrobystia, and cloned to pMD19-T simple vector (TA Clone method). The resultant plasmid was transformed into Escherichia coli JM109 for amplification. The TA Clone recombinant was digested by double restriction enzyme (Bgl II/EcoR I) and analysed with agarose gel electrophoresis. The positive one was sequenced. The inserted DNA fragment was recovered, and then it was mounted into the eukaryotic expression vector pIRES2-EGFP, transformed into E. coli JM109 for amplification. A positive recombinant plasmid named pIRES2-EGFP-TSLC1 was confirmed by Bgl II/EcoR I double-enzyme digestion analysis.
RT-PCR amplified the ORF of the TSLC1 gene. It was approximately 1400 base pairs. The obtained DNA was confirmed a high degree of homology with the sequence of TSLC1 cDNA sequence (AY358334) stored at GenBank.
Construction of a TSLC1 eukaryotic expression vector was successful, and it has established a solid foundation for further study.
TSLC1 gene; construction; eukaryotic expression vector
MYH is an important enzyme in combating DNA oxidative stress in the occurrence and development of various types of tumors. To investigate the correlation between expression of the DNA repair enzyme MYH in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) oxidative damage, as well as the clinical significance of altered MYH expression, tissues from 175 esophageal carcinoma cases were investigated in the present study. MYH expression and 8-oxoG oxidative damage in squamous cell carcinoma and adjacent normal tissue were assessed by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. In 82.9% (145/175) of the cases, MYH protein expression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma was lower than that of adjacent normal tissue (t=4.24, P<0.001). Additionally, 8-oxoG staining was higher in the tumors than in the normal tissue. Lower expression of MYH in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma was associated with depth of invasion, venous invasion, TNM stage and lymph node metastasis (P<0.05). In conclusion, a lower MYH expression level in esophageal cell carcinoma tissue was inversely associated with more severe 8-oxoG oxidative damage, suggesting that changes in MYH activity correspond to increased DNA damage in tumor cells. The use of MYH expression as a postoperative index for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma may guide the formulation of individualized chemotherapy for patients after surgery.
esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; MYH; 8-oxoguanine
In this study, we report the functional characterization of a new ent-kaurene diterpenoid termed pharicin A, which was originally isolated from Isodon, a perennial shrub frequently used in Chinese folk medicine for tumor treatment. Pharicin A induces mitotic arrest in leukemia and solid tumor-derived cells identified by their morphology, DNA content and mitotic marker analyses. Pharicin A-induced mitotic arrest is associated with unaligned chromosomes, aberrant BubR1 localization and deregulated spindle checkpoint activation. Pharicin A directly binds to BubR1 in vitro, which is correlated with premature sister chromatid separation in vivo. Pharicin A also induces mitotic arrest in paclitaxel-resistant Jurkat and U2OS cells. Combined, our study strongly suggests that pharicin A represents a novel class of small molecule compounds capable of perturbing mitotic progression and initiating mitotic catastrophe, which merits further preclinical and clinical investigations for cancer drug development.
pharicin A; mitotic arrest; leukemia; tumor cells; spindle checkpoint
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthesis regulatory protein PhaR contains a DNA binding domain (DBD) and a PHA granule binding domain (GBD), it anchors to the promoter region of PHA granule-associated protein (PhaP) to repress phaP expression. However, PhaR will bind to PHB granules and be released from phaP promoter region when PHA granules are formed in vivo, initiating expression of phaP gene. Based on this regulatory mechanism, a bacterial two-hybrid system was developed: PhaR was separated into two parts: DBD was used to fuse with the bait, GBD with the prey, and phaP was replaced by a reporter gene lacZ. However, GBD protein expressed in vivo formed inclusion bodies. Thus, PhaP with strong binding ability to PHB granules was employed to replace GBD.
Three model interaction partners bFos, bJun and bATF2 were used to study the feasibility of this bacterial two-hybrid system compared with the controls lacking one or more essential elements of this system. Results showed that bFos, bJun and bATF2 bound tightly in pairs to allow strong expression of β-galactosidase in different expression levels. In contrast, very weak β-galactosidase activity was detected in all control groups.
β-Galactosidase activity level precisely correlated with the interaction force of tested protein pairs, and very weak β-galactosidase expression was detected throughout the control groups, which demonstrated the feasibility of this system for studying protein interactions.
Objective: This study was designed to detect the changes of serum soluble Fas (sFas) levels in patients with locally advanced unresectable rectal cancer (LAURC), and to explore its prognostic value of response. Methods: Soluble samples were obtained from LAURC subjects, treated by concurrent chemoradiotherapy, before treatment and one month after treatment. Healthy donor serum samples were used as controls. sFas concentration was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: The sFas levels before treatment and one month after treatment were both significantly higher in LAURC subjects than in healthy controls [(8.79±1.39) and (7.74±1.32) vs. (5.53±1.13) ng/L, P<0.01]. The sFas levels before treatment and one month after treatment were significantly lower in the response group (complete and partial responses) than in the non-response group (stable and progressive diseases) [(8.50±1.25) vs. (10.17±1.26) ng/L, P<0.01 and (7.50±1.24) vs. (8.90±1.13) ng/L, P<0.01, respectively]. The one-year survival rate was 54.2% and 82.6% in those with sFas levels >8.79 ng/L and <8.79 ng/L before treatment (P<0.02), respectively, 50.0% and 87.0% in those with sFas levels >7.74 ng/L and <7.74 ng/L one month after treatment (P<0.01), respectively. Conclusions: The sFas level is higher in LAURC subjects than in healthy controls. Concurrent chemoradiotherapy can reduce sFas levels in LAURC patients. The monitoring of sFas may provide prognostic information for LAURC patients.
Soluble Fas (sFas); Rectal cancer; Concurrent chemoradiotherapy; Prognosis
PhaR which is a repressor protein for microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) biosynthesis, is able to attach to bacterial PHA granules in vivo, was developed as an affinity tag for in vitro protein purification. Fusion of PhaR-tagged self-cleavable Ssp DnaB intein to the N-terminus of a target protein allowed protein purification with a pH and temperature shift. During the process, the target protein was released to the supernatant while PhaR-tagged intein was still immobilized on the PHA nanoparticles which were then separated by centrifugation.
Fusion protein PhaR-intein-target protein was expressed in recombinant Escherichia coli. The cell lysates after sonication and centrifugation were collected and then incubated with PHA nanoparticles to allow sufficient absorption onto the PHA nanoparticles. After several washing processes, self-cleavage of intein was triggered by pH and temperature shift. As a result, the target protein was released from the particles and purified after centrifugation. As target proteins, enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), maltose binding protein (MBP) and β-galactosidase (lacZ), were successfully purified using the PhaR based protein purification method.
The successful purification of EGFP, MBP and LacZ indicated the feasibility of this PhaR based in vitro purification system. Moreover, the elements used in this system can be easily obtained and prepared by users themselves, so they can set up a simple protein purification strategy by themselves according to the PhaR method, which provides another choice instead of expensive commercial protein purification systems.
The phasin PhaPAh from A. hydrophila strain 4AK4 was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) granule-associated proteins (phasins) were discovered in PHA-accumulating bacteria. They play a crucial role as a structural protein during initial PHA-granule formation and granule growth and also serve as interfaces for granule stabilization in vivo. The phasin PhaPAh from Aeromonas hydrophila strain 4AK4 was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. Single crystals were cryocooled for X-ray diffraction analysis. The phasin crystals belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 80.8, b = 108.9, c = 134.4 Å.
PHB; PHA; granule-associated proteins; phasins; polyhydroxyalkanoates; Aeromonas hydrophila
p16INK4A (p16) binds to cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 and negatively regulates cell growth. Recent studies have led to an understanding of additional biologic functions for p16; however, the detailed mechanisms involved are still elusive. In this article, we show an unexpected expression of anion exchanger 1 (AE1) in the cytoplasm in poorly and moderately differentiated gastric and colonic adenocarcinoma cells and in its interaction with p16, thereby sequestrating the protein in the cytoplasm. Genetic alterations of p16 and AE1 were not detectable. Forced expression of AE1 in these cells sequestrated more p16 in the cytoplasm, whereas small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of AE1 in the cells induced the release of p16 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, leading to cell death and growth inhibition of tumor cells. By analyzing tissue samples obtained from patients with gastric and colonic cancers, we found that 83.33% of gastric cancers and 56.52% of colonic cancers coexpressed AE1 and p16 in the cytoplasm. We conclude that AE1 plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of gastric and colonic adenocarcinoma and that p16 dysfunction is a novel pathway of carcinogenesis.
Anion exchanger 1; p16; gastric adenocarcinoma; colonic adenocarcinoma; siRNA
3-Hydroxydecanoic acid (3HD) was produced in Escherichia coli by mobilizing (R)-3-hydroxydecanoyl-acyl carrier protein-coenzyme A transacylase (PhaG, encoded by the phaG gene). By employing an isogenic tesB (encoding thioesterase II)-negative knockout E. coli strain, CH01, it was found that the expressions of tesB and phaG can up-regulate each other. In addition, 3HD was synthesized from glucose or fructose by recombinant E. coli harboring phaG and tesB. This study supports the hypothesis that the physiological role of thioesterase II in E. coli is to prevent the abnormal accumulation of intracellular acyl-coenzyme A.
A couple of DNA ligation-independent cloning (LIC) methods have been reported to meet various requirements in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. The principle of LIC is the assembly of multiple overlapping DNA fragments by single-stranded (ss) DNA overlaps annealing. Here we present a method to generate single-stranded DNA overlaps based on Nicking Endonucleases (NEases) for LIC, the method was termed NE-LIC. Factors related to cloning efficiency were optimized in this study. This NE-LIC allows generating 3′-end or 5′-end ss DNA overlaps of various lengths for fragments assembly. We demonstrated that the 10 bp/15 bp overlaps had the highest DNA fragments assembling efficiency, while 5 bp/10 bp overlaps showed the highest efficiency when T4 DNA ligase was added. Its advantage over Sequence and Ligation Independent Cloning (SLIC) and Uracil-Specific Excision Reagent (USER) was obvious. The mechanism can be applied to many other LIC strategies. Finally, the NEases based LIC (NE-LIC) was successfully applied to assemble a pathway of six gene fragments responsible for synthesizing microbial poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB).
Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are biopolyesters consisting of diverse monomers. PHA synthase PhaC2Ps cloned from Pseudomonas stutzeri 1317 is able to polymerize short-chain-length (scl) 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) monomers and medium-chain-length (mcl) 3-hydroxyalkanoates (3HA) with carbon chain lengths ranging from C6 to C12. However, the scl and mcl PHA production in Escherichia coli expressing PhaC2Ps is limited with very low PHA yield.
To improve the production of PHA with a wide range of monomer compositions in E. coli, a series of optimization strategies were applied on the PHA synthase PhaC2Ps. Codon optimization of the gene and mRNA stabilization with a hairpin structure were conducted and the function of the optimized PHA synthase was tested in E. coli. The transcript was more stable after the hairpin structure was introduced, and western blot analysis showed that both codon optimization and hairpin introduction increased the protein expression level. Compared with the wild type PhaC2Ps, the optimized PhaC2Ps increased poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) production by approximately 16-fold to 30% of the cell dry weight. When grown on dodecanoate, the recombinant E. coli harboring the optimized gene phaC2PsO with a hairpin structure in the 5’ untranslated region was able to synthesize 4-fold more PHA consisting of 3HB and medium-chain-length 3HA compared to the recombinant harboring the wild type phaC2Ps.
The levels of both PHB and scl-mcl PHA in E. coli were significantly increased by series of optimization strategies applied on PHA synthase PhaC2Ps. These results indicate that strategies including codon optimization and mRNA stabilization are useful for heterologous PHA synthase expression and therefore enhance PHA production.
PHB; Polyhydroxyalkanoates; PHA synthase; Codon optimization; Hairpin; Escherichia coli
Poly(4-hydroxybutyrate) [poly(4HB)] is a strong thermoplastic biomaterial with remarkable mechanical properties, biocompatibility and biodegradability. However, it is generally synthesized when 4-hydroxybutyrate (4HB) structurally related substrates such as γ-butyrolactone, 4-hydroxybutyrate or 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BD) are provided as precursor which are much more expensive than glucose. At present, high production cost is a big obstacle for large scale production of poly(4HB).
Recombinant Escherichia coli strain was constructed to achieve hyperproduction of poly(4-hydroxybutyrate) [poly(4HB)] using glucose as a sole carbon source. An engineering pathway was established in E. coli containing genes encoding succinate degradation of Clostridium kluyveri and PHB synthase of Ralstonia eutropha. Native succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase genes sad and gabD in E. coli were both inactivated to enhance the carbon flux to poly(4HB) biosynthesis. Four PHA binding proteins (PhaP or phasins) including PhaP1, PhaP2, PhaP3 and PhaP4 from R. eutropha were heterologously expressed in the recombinant E. coli, respectively, leading to different levels of improvement in poly(4HB) production. Among them PhaP1 exhibited the highest capability for enhanced polymer synthesis. The recombinant E. coli produced 5.5 g L-1 cell dry weight containing 35.4% poly(4HB) using glucose as a sole carbon source in a 48 h shake flask growth. In a 6-L fermentor study, 11.5 g L-1 cell dry weight containing 68.2% poly(4HB) was obtained after 52 h of cultivation. This was the highest poly(4HB) yield using glucose as a sole carbon source reported so far. Poly(4HB) was structurally confirmed by gas chromatographic (GC) as well as 1H and 13C NMR studies.
Significant level of poly(4HB) biosynthesis from glucose can be achieved in sad and gabD genes deficient strain of E. coli JM109 harboring an engineering pathway encoding succinate degradation genes and PHB synthase gene, together with expression of four PHA binding proteins PhaP or phasins, respectively. Over 68% poly(4HB) was produced in a fed-batch fermentation process, demonstrating the feasibility for enhanced poly(4HB) production using the recombinant strain for future cost effective commercial development.
Poly(4HB); PHB; Polyhydroxyalkanoates; PhaP; 4-hydroxybutyrate; Escherichia coli; Metabolic engineering; Synthetic biology
Halophilic bacteria have shown their significance in industrial production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and are gaining more attention for genetic engineering modification. Yet, little information on the genomics and PHA related genes from halophilic bacteria have been disclosed so far.
The draft genome of moderately halophilic bacterium, Halomonas sp. TD01, a strain of great potential for industrial production of short-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), was analyzed through computational methods to reveal the osmoregulation mechanism and the evolutionary relationship of the enzymes relevant to PHA and ectoine syntheses. Genes involved in the metabolism of PHA and osmolytes were annotated and studied in silico. Although PHA synthase, depolymerase, regulator/repressor and phasin were all involved in PHA metabolic pathways, they demonstrated different horizontal gene transfer (HGT) events between the genomes of different strains. In contrast, co-occurrence of ectoine genes in the same genome was more frequently observed, and ectoine genes were more likely under coincidental horizontal gene transfer than PHA related genes. In addition, the adjacent organization of the homologues of PHA synthase phaC1 and PHA granule binding protein phaP was conserved in the strain TD01, which was also observed in some halophiles and non-halophiles exclusively from γ-proteobacteria. In contrast to haloarchaea, the proteome of Halomonas sp. TD01 did not show obvious inclination towards acidity relative to non-halophilic Escherichia coli MG1655, which signified that Halomonas sp. TD01 preferred the accumulation of organic osmolytes to ions in order to balance the intracellular osmotic pressure with the environment.
The accessibility of genome information would facilitate research on the genetic engineering of halophilic bacteria including Halomonas sp. TD01.
Halomonas spp.; PHB; polyhydroxyalkanoates; osmolytes; genome; PhaC