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1.  Transaldolase of Methanocaldococcus jannaschii  
Archaea  2004;1(4):255-262.
The Methanocaldococcus jannaschii genome contains putative genes for all four nonoxidative pentose phosphate pathway enzymes. Open reading frame (ORF) MJ0960 is a member of the mipB/talC family of ‘transaldolase-like’ genes, so named because of their similarity to the well-characterized transaldolase B gene family. However, recently, it has been reported that both the mipB and the talC genes from Escherichia coli encode novel enzymes with fructose-6-phosphate aldolase activity, not transaldolase activity (Schürmann and Sprenger 2001). The same study reports that other members of the mipB/talC family appear to encode transaldolases. To confirm the function of MJ0960 and to clarify the presence of a nonoxidative pentose phosphate pathway in M. jannaschii, we have cloned ORF MJ0960 from M. jannaschii genomic DNA and purified the recombinant protein. MJ0960 encodes a transaldolase and displays no fructose-6-phosphate aldolase activity. It retained full activity for 4 h at 80 °C, and for 3 weeks at 25 °C. Methanocaldococcus jannaschii transaldolase has a maximal velocity (Vmax) of 1.0 ± 0.2 µmol min–1 mg–1 at 25 °C, whereas Vmax = 12.0 ± 0.5 µmol min–1 mg–1 at 50 °C. Apparent Michaelis constants at 50 °C were Km = 0.65 ± 0.09 mM for fructose-6-phosphate and Km = 27.8 ± 4.3 µM for erythrose-4-phosphate. When ribose-5-phosphate replaced erythrose-4-phosphate as an aldose acceptor, Vmax decreased twofold, whereas the Km was 150-fold higher. The molecular mass of the active enzyme is 271 ± 27 kDa as estimated by gel filtration, whereas the predicted monomer size is 23.96 kDa, suggesting that the native form of the protein is probably a decamer. A readily available source of thermophilic pentose phosphate pathway enzymes including transaldolase may have direct application in enzymatic biohydrogen production.
PMCID: PMC2685571  PMID: 15810435
biohydrogen; fructose-6-phosphate aldolase; fsa; mipB; pentose phosphate pathway; talC

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