My publications from 2009-2014

Abstract

Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) alditol oxidase (AldO) is a soluble monomeric flavoprotein in which the flavin cofactor is covalently linked to the polypeptide chain. AldO displays high reactivity towards different polyols such as xylitol and sorbitol. These characteristics make AldO industrially relevant, but full biotechnological exploitation of this enzyme is at present restricted by laborious and costly purification steps. To eliminate the need for enzyme purification, this study describes a whole-cell AldO biocatalyst system. To this end, we have directed AldO to the periplasm or cell surface of Escherichia coli. For periplasmic export, AldO was fused to endogenous E. coli signal sequences known to direct their passenger proteins into the SecB, signal recognition particle (SRP), or Twin-arginine translocation (Tat) pathway. In addition, AldO was fused to an ice nucleation protein (INP)-based anchoring motif for surface display. The results show that Tat-exported AldO and INP-surface-displayed AldO are active. The Tat-based system was successfully employed in converting xylitol by whole cells, whereas the use of the INP-based system was most likely restricted by lipopolysaccharide LPS in wild-type cells. It is anticipated that these whole-cell systems will be a valuable tool for further biological and industrial exploitation of AldO and other cofactor-containing enzymes.


Abstract

DyP-type peroxidases comprise a novel superfamily of heme-containing peroxidases which is unrelated to the superfamilies of known peroxidases and of which only a few members have been characterized in some detail. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a DyP-type peroxidase (TfuDyP) from the thermophilic actinomycete Thermobifida fusca. Biochemical characterization of the recombinant enzyme showed that it is a monomeric, heme-containing, thermostable, and Tat-dependently exported peroxidase. TfuDyP is not only active as dye-decolorizing peroxidase as it also accepts phenolic compounds and aromatic sulfides. In fact, it is able to catalyze enantioselective sulfoxidations, a type of reaction that has not been reported before for DyP-type peroxidases. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to determine the role of two conserved residues. D242 is crucial for catalysis while H338 represents the proximal heme ligand and is essential for heme incorporation. A genome database analysis revealed that DyP-type peroxidases are frequently found in bacterial genomes while they are extremely rare in other organisms. Most of the bacterial homologs are potential cytosolic enzymes, suggesting metabolic roles different from dye degradation. In conclusion, the detailed biochemical characterization reported here contributes significantly to our understanding of these enzymes and further emphasizes their biotechnological potential.

Abstract

Bacterial surface display entails the presentation of recombinant proteins or peptides on the surface of bacterial cells. Escherichia coli is the most frequently used bacterial host for surface display and, as such, a variety of E. coli display systems have been described that primarily promote the surface exposure of peptides and small proteins. By contrast, display systems based on autotransporter proteins (ATs) and ice nucleation protein (INP) are excellent systems for the display of large and complex proteins, and are therefore of considerable biotechnological relevance. Here, we review recent advances in AT and INP-mediated display and their biotechnological applications. Additionally, we discuss several promising alternative display methods, as well as novel bacterial host organisms.

 


Abstract

Background: Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) represent a group of enzymes of considerable biotechnological relevance as illustrated by their growing use as biocatalyst in a variety of synthetic applications. However, due to their increased use the reproducible expression of BVMOs and other biotechnologically relevant enzymes has become a pressing matter while knowledge about the factors governing their reproducible expression is scattered. 

Results: Here, we have used phenylacetone monooxygenase (PAMO) from Thermobifida fusca, a prototype Type I BVMO, as a model enzyme to develop a stepwise strategy to optimize the biotransformation performance of recombinant E. coli expressing PAMO in 96-well microtiter plates in a reproducible fashion. Using this system, the best expression conditions of PAMO were investigated first, including different host strains, temperature as well as time and induction period for PAMO expression. This optimized system was used next to improve biotransformation conditions, the PAMO-catalyzed conversion of phenylacetone, by evaluating the best electron donor, substrate concentration, and the temperature and length of biotransformation. Combining all optimized parameters resulted in a more than four-fold enhancement of the biocatalytic performance and, importantly, this was highly reproducible as indicated by the relative standard deviation of 1% for non-washed cells and 3% for washed cells. Furthermore, the optimized procedure was successfully adapted for activity-based mutant screening.  

Conclusions: Our optimized procedure, which provides a comprehensive overview of the key factors influencing the reproducible expression and performance of a biocatalyst, is expected to form a rational basis for the optimization of miniaturized biotransformations and for the design of novel activity-based screening procedures suitable for BVMOs and other NAD(P)H-dependent enzymes as well.


Abstract 

We describe the discovery, isolation and characterization of a highly thermostable alditol oxidase from Acidothermus cellulolyticus 11B. This protein was identified by searching the genomes of known thermophiles for enzymes homologous to Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) alditol oxidase (AldO). A gene (sharing 48% protein sequence identity to AldO) was identified, cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Following 6xHis tag purification, characterization revealed the protein to be a covalent flavoprotein of 47 kDa with a remarkably similar reactivity and substrate specificity to that of AldO. A steady-state kinetic analysis with a number of different polyol substrates revealed lower catalytic rates but slightly altered substrate specificity when compared to AldO. Thermostability measurements revealed that the novel AldO is a highly thermostable enzyme with an unfolding temperature of 84 °C and an activity half-life at 75 °C of 112 min, prompting the name HotAldO. Inspired by earlier studies, we attempted a straightforward, exploratory approach to improve the thermostability of AldO by replacing residues with high B-factors with corresponding residues from HotAldO. None of these mutations resulted in a more thermostable oxidase; a fact that was corroborated by in silico analysis.


Abstract

The covalent flavoprotein alditol oxidase (AldO) from Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) was endowed with an extra catalytic functionality by fusing it to a microperoxidase. Purification of the construct resulted in the isolation of a synthetic bifunctional enzyme that was both fully covalently flavinylated and heminylated: an oxiperoxidase. Characterization revealed that both oxidase and peroxidase functionalities were active, with the construct functioning as a single-component xylitol biosensor. In an attempt to reduce the size of the oxidase-peroxidase fusion, we replaced portions of the native AldO sequence with the bacterial cytochrome c CXXCH heme-binding motif. By mutating only three residues of the AldO protein we were able to create a functional oxidase-peroxidase hybrid.


Abstract

Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) have been receiving increasing attention as enzymes useful for biocatalytic applications. Industrial requirements call for rapid and extensive redesign of these enzymes. In response to the need for screening large libraries of BVMO mutants, we established a generic screening method that allows screening of Escherichia coli cells expressing active BVMOs in 96-well plate format. For this, we first developed an expression system for production of phenylacetone monooxygenase (PAMO) in the periplasm of E. coli. This allows probing the enzyme for any target substrate while it is also compatible with extracellular coenzyme regeneration. For coenzyme regeneration, we used phosphite dehydrogenase, which forms phosphate upon NADPH recycling. This allowed the use of a chromogenic molybdate-based phosphate determination assay. The screening procedure was supplemented with a detection method for identification of mutant enzymes that act as NADPH oxidases, thereby excluding false-positives. The whole-cell-based screening method was validated by screening site-saturation libraries of PAMO and resulted in the identification of PAMO mutants with altered catalytic properties. This new method can be used for screening libraries of BVMOs for activity with any desired substrate and therefore is a powerful tool for engineering of these enzymes.


Abstract

DyP peroxidases comprise a novel superfamily of heme-containing peroxidases, which is unrelated to the superfamilies of plant and animal peroxidases. These enzymes have so far been identified in the genomes of fungi, bacteria, as well as archaea, although their physiological function is still unclear. DyPs are bifunctional enzymes displaying not only oxidative activity but also hydrolytic activity. Moreover, these enzymes are able to oxidize a variety of organic compounds of which some are poorly converted by established peroxidases, including dyes, β-carotene, and aromatic sulfides. Interestingly, accumulating evidence shows that microbial DyP peroxidases play a key role in the degradation of lignin. Owing to their unique properties, these enzymes are potentially interesting for a variety of biocatalytic applications. In this review, we deal with the biochemical and structural features of DyP-type peroxidases as well as their promising biotechnological potential.