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Mutations derived from the thermophilic polyhydroxyalkanoate synthase PhaC enhance the thermostability and activity of PhaC from Cupriavidus necator H16.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Bacteriology
1098-5530
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Volume
194
Issue
10
Pages
2620–2629
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/JB.06543-11
PMID: 22408158
Source
Medline

Abstract

The thermophile Cupriavidus sp. strain S-6 accumulated polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) from glucose at 50°C. A 9.0-kbp EcoRI fragment cloned from the genomic DNA of Cupriavidus sp. S-6 enabled Escherichia coli XL1-Blue to synthesize PHB at 45°C. Nucleotide sequence analysis showed a pha locus in the clone. The thermophilic polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase (PhaC(Csp)) shared 81% identity with mesophilic PhaC of Cupriavidus necator H16. The diversity between these two strains was found dominantly on their N and C termini, while the middle regions were highly homologous (92% identity). We constructed four chimeras of mesophilic and thermophilic phaC genes to explore the mutations related to its thermostability. Among the chimeras, only PhaC(H16β), which was PhaC(H16) bearing 30 point mutations derived from the middle region of PhaC(Csp), accumulated a high content of PHB (65% [dry weight]) at 45°C. The chimera phaC(H16)(β) and two parental PHA synthase genes were overexpressed in E. coli BLR(DE3) cells and purified. At 30°C, the specific activity of the chimera PhaC(H16β) (172 ± 17.8 U/mg) was 3.45-fold higher than that of the parental enzyme PhaC(H16) (50 ± 5.2 U/mg). At 45°C, the half-life of the chimera PhaC(H16β) (11.2 h) was 127-fold longer than that of PhaC(H16) (5.3 min). Furthermore, the chimera PhaC(H16β) accumulated 1.55-fold (59% [dry weight]) more PHA content than the parental enzyme PhaC(H16) (38% [dry weight]) at 37°C. This study reveals a limited number of point mutations which enhance not only thermostability but also PhaC(H16) activity. The highly thermostable and active PHA synthase will provide advantages for its promising applications to in vitro PHA synthesis and recombinant E. coli PHA fermentation.

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