Nitrile hydratase (NHase), which catalyzes the hydration of nitriles to amides, is the key enzyme for the production of amides in industries. However, the poor stability of this enzyme under the reaction conditions is a drawback of its industrial application. In this study, we aimed to improve the stability of NHase (PpNHase) from Pseudomonas putida NRRL-18668 using a homologous protein fragment swapping strategy. One thermophilic NHase fragment from Comamonas testosteroni 5-MGAM-4D and two fragments from Pseudonocardia thermophila JCM3095 were selected to swap the corresponding fragments of PpNHase. Seven chimeric NHases were designed using STAR (site targeted amino recombination) software and molecular dynamics to determine the crossover sites for fragment recombination. All constructed chimeric NHases showed 1.4- to 3.5-fold enhancement in thermostability and six of them become more tolerant to high-concentration product. Notably, one of these NHases, 3AB, exhibited a 1.4±0.05-fold increase in activity compared to the wild-type PpNHase. Circular dichroism spectrum analysis and homology modeling revealed that the 3AB slightly differed in secondary structure from wild-type PpNHase. The 3AB constructed in this study is useful for further industrial application, and the method for designing the chimeric protein using homologous protein fragment swapping without a decrease in activity may be a strategy to improve the stability of other enzymes.
Self-assembling amphipathic peptides (SAPs) are the peptides that can spontaneously assemble into ordered nanostructures. It has been reported that the attachment of SAPs to the N- or C-terminus of an enzyme can benefit the thermo-stability of the enzyme. Here, we discovered that the thermo-stability and product tolerance of nitrile hydratase (NHase) were enhanced by fusing with two of the SAPs (EAK16 and ELK16). When the ELK16 was fused to the N-terminus of ?-subunit, the resultant NHase (SAP-NHase-2) became an active inclusion body; EAK16 fused NHase in the N-terminus of ?-subunit (SAP-NHase-1) and ELK16 fused NHase in the C-terminus of ?-subunit (SAP-NHase-10) did not affect NHase solubility. Compared with the deactivation of the wild-type NHase after 30 min incubation at 50°C, SAP-NHase-1, SAP-NHase-2 and SAP-NHase-10 retained 45%, 30% and 50% activity; after treatment in the buffer containing 10% acrylamide, the wild-type retained 30% activity, while SAP-NHase-1, SAP-NHase-2 and SAP-NHase-10 retained 52%, 42% and 55% activity. These SAP-NHases with enhanced thermo-stability and product tolerance would be helpful for further industrial applications of the NHase.
A self-subunit swapping chaperone is crucial for cobalt incorporation into nitrile hydratase. However, further information about its structural features is not available. The flexibility and positive charge of the C-terminal domain of the self-subunit swapping chaperone (P14K) of nitrile hydratase from Pseudomonas putida NRRL-18668 play an important role in cobalt incorporation. C-terminal domain truncation, alternation of C-terminal domain flexibility through mutant P14K(G86I), and elimination of the positive charge in the C-terminal domain sharply affected nitrile hydratase cobalt content and activity. The flexible, positively charged C-terminal domain most likely carries out an external action that allows a cobalt-free nitrile hydratase to overcome an energetic barrier, resulting in a cobalt-containing nitrile hydratase.
An efficient enzymatic process was developed to produce optically pure D-phenylalanine through asymmetric resolution of the racemic DL-phenylalanine using immobilized phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (RgPAL) from Rhodotorula glutinis JN-1. RgPAL was immobilized on a modified mesoporous silica support (MCM-41-NH-GA). The resulting MCM-41-NH-GA-RgPAL showed high activity and stability. The resolution efficiency using MCM-41-NH-GA-RgPAL in a recirculating packed-bed reactor (RPBR) was higher than that in a stirred-tank reactor. Under optimal operational conditions, the volumetric conversion rate of L-phenylalanine and the productivity of D-phenylalanine reached 96.7 mM h?¹ and 0.32 g L?¹ h?¹, respectively. The optical purity (eeD) of D-phenylalanine exceeded 99%. The RPBR ran continuously for 16 batches, the conversion ratio did not decrease. The reactor was scaled up 25-fold, and the productivity of D-phenylalanine (eeD>99%) in the scaled-up reactor reached 7.2 g L?¹ h?¹. These results suggest that the resolution process is an alternative method to produce highly pure D-phenylalanine.
Besides the catalytic ability, many enzymes contain conserved domains to perform some other physiological functions. However, sometimes these conserved domains were unnecessary or even detrimental to the catalytic process for industrial application of the enzymes. In this study, based on homology modeling and molecular dynamics simulations, we found that Bacillus subtilis aminopeptidase contained a thermal sensitive domain (protease-associated domain) in the non-catalytic region, and predicted that deletion of this flexible domain can enhance the structure stability. This prediction was then verified by the deletion of protease-associated domain from the wild-type enzyme. The thermal stability analysis showed that deletion of this domain improved the T50 (the temperature required to reduce initial activity by 50% in 30 min) of the enzyme from 71 °C to 77 °C. The melting temperature (Tm) of the enzyme also increased, which was measured by thermal denaturation experiments using circular dichroism spectroscopy. Further studies indicated that this deletion did not affect the activity and specificity of the enzyme toward aminoacyl-p-nitroanilines, but improved its hydrolytic ability toward a 12-aa-long peptide (LKRLKRFLKRLK) and soybean protein. These findings suggested the possibility of a simple technique for enzyme modification and the artificial enzyme obtained here was more suitable for the protein hydrolysis in food industry than the wild-type enzyme.
Microbial transglutaminase (MTG) from Streptomyces is naturally secreted as a zymogen (pro-MTG), which is then activated by the removal of its N-terminal proregion by additional proteases. Inteins are protein-intervening sequences that catalyze protein splicing without cofactors. In this study, a pH-dependent Synechocystis sp. strain PCC6803 DnaB mini-intein (SDB) was introduced into pro-MTG to simplify its activation process by controlling pH. The recombinant protein (pro-SDB-MTG) was obtained, and the activation process was determined to take 24 h at pH 7 in vitro. To investigate the effect of the first residue in MTG on the activity and the cleavage time, two variants, pro-SDB-MTG(D1S) and pro-SDB-MTG(?D1), were expressed, and the activation time was found to be 6 h and 30 h, respectively. The enzymatic property and secondary structure of the recombinant MTG and two variants were similar to those of the wild type, indicating that the insertion of mini-intein did not affect the function of MTG. This insignificant effect was further illustrated by molecular dynamics simulations. This study revealed a controllable and effective strategy to regulate the activation process of pro-MTG mediated by a mini-intein, and it may have great potential for industrial MTG production.
Tubulin undergoes various posttranslational modifications, including polyglutamylation, which is catalyzed by enzymes belonging to the tubulin tyrosine ligase-like protein (TTLL) family. A previously isolated Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mutant, tpg1, carries a mutation in a gene encoding a homologue of mammalian TTLL9 and displays lowered motility because of decreased polyglutamylation of axonemal tubulin. Here we identify a novel tpg1-like mutant, tpg2, which carries a mutation in the gene encoding FAP234, a flagella-associated protein of unknown function. Immunoprecipitation and sucrose density gradient centrifugation experiments show that FAP234 and TTLL9 form a complex. The mutant tpg1 retains FAP234 in the cell body and flagellar matrix but lacks it in the axoneme. In contrast, tpg2 lacks both TTLL9 and FAP234 in all fractions. In fla10, a temperature-sensitive mutant deficient in intraflagellar transport (IFT), both TTLL9 and FAP234 are lost from the flagellum at nonpermissive temperatures. These and other results suggest that FAP234 functions in stabilization and IFT-dependent transport of TTLL9. Both TTLL9 and FAP234 are conserved in most ciliated organisms. We propose that they constitute a polyglutamylation complex specialized for regulation of ciliary motility.
Aminopeptidases can selectively catalyze the cleavage of the N-terminal amino acid residues from peptides and proteins. Bacillus subtilis aminopeptidase (BSAP) is most active toward p-nitroanilides (pNAs) derivatives of Leu, Arg, and Lys. The BSAP with broad substrate specificity is expected to improve its application. Based on an analysis of the predicted structure of BSAP, four residues (Leu 370, Asn 385, Ile 387, and Val 396) located in the substrate binding region were selected for saturation mutagenesis. The hydrolytic activity toward different aminoacyl-pNAs of each mutant BSAP in the culture supernatant was measured. Although the mutations resulted in a decrease of hydrolytic activity toward Leu-pNA, N385L BSAP exhibited higher hydrolytic activities toward Lys-pNA (2.2-fold) and Ile-pNA (9.1-fold) than wild-type BSAP. Three mutant enzymes (I387A, I387C and I387S BSAPs) specially hydrolyzed Phe-pNA, which was undetectable in wild-type BSAP. Among these mutant BSAPs, N385L and I387A BSAPs were selected for further characterized and used for protein hydrolysis application. Both of N385L and I387A BSAPs showed higher hydrolysis efficiency than the wild-type BASP and a combination of the wild-type and N385L and I387A BSAPs exhibited the highest hydrolysis efficiency for protein hydrolysis. This study will greatly facilitate studies aimed on change the substrate specificity and our results obtained here should be useful for BSAP application in food industry.
Caenorhabditis elegans gelsolin-like protein-1 (GSNL-1) is an unconventional member of the gelsolin family of actin-regulatory proteins. Unlike typical gelsolin-related proteins with three or six G domains, GSNL-1 has four gelsolin-like (G) domains (G1-G4) and exhibits calcium-dependent actin filament severing and capping activities. The first G domain (G1) of GSNL-1 is necessary for its actin-regulatory activities. However, how other domains in GSNL-1 participate in regulation of its functions is not understood. Here, we report biochemical evidence that the second G domain (G2) of GSNL-1 has a regulatory role in its calcium-dependent conformation and actin-regulatory activities. Comparison of the sequences of gelsolin-related proteins from various species indicates that sequences of G2 are highly conserved. Among the conserved residues in G2, we focused on D162 of GSNL-1, since equivalent residues in gelsolin and severin are part of the calcium-binding sites and is a pathogenic mutation site in human gelsolin causing familial amyloidosis, Finish-type. The D162N mutation does not alter the inactive and fully calcium-activated states of GSNL-1 for actin filament severing (at 20 nM GSNL-1) and capping activities (at 50 nM GSNL-1). However, under these conditions, the mutant shows reduced calcium sensitivity for activation. By contrast, the D162N mutation strongly enhances susceptibility of GSNL-1 to chymotrypsin digestion only at high calcium concentrations but not at low calcium concentrations. The mutation also reduces affinity of GSNL-1 with actin monomers. These results suggest that G2 of GSNL-1 functions as a regulatory domain for its calcium-dependent actin-regulatory activities by mediating conformational changes of the GSNL-1 molecule.
The gelsolin family of actin regulatory proteins is activated by Ca(2+) to sever and cap actin filaments. Gelsolin has six homologous gelsolin-like domains (G1-G6), and Ca(2+)-dependent conformational changes regulate its accessibility to actin. Caenorhabditis elegans gelsolin-like protein-1 (GSNL-1) has only four gelsolin-like domains (G1-G4) and still exhibits Ca(2+)-dependent actin filament-severing and -capping activities. We found that acidic residues (Asp-83 and Asp-84) in G1 of GSNL-1 are important for its Ca(2+) activation. These residues are conserved in GSNL-1 and gelsolin and previously implicated in actin-severing activity of the gelsolin family. We found that alanine mutations at Asp-83 and Asp-84 (D83A/D84A mutation) did not disrupt actin-severing or -capping activity. Instead, the mutants exhibited altered Ca(2+) sensitivity when compared with wild-type GSNL-1. The D83A/D84A mutation enhanced Ca(2+) sensitivity for actin severing and capping and its susceptibility to proteolytic digestion, suggesting a conformational change. Single mutations caused minimal changes in its activity, whereas Asp-83 and Asp-84 were required to stabilize Ca(2+)-free and Ca(2+)-bound conformations, respectively. On the other hand, the D83A/D84A mutation suppressed sensitivity of GSNL-1 to phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate inhibition. The structure of an inactive form of gelsolin shows that the equivalent acidic residues are in close contact with G3, which may maintain an inactive conformation of the gelsolin family.
Outer arm dynein (OAD) in cilia and flagella contains two to three nonidentical heavy chains (HCs) that possess motor activity. In Chlamydomonas, flagellar OAD contains three HCs, alpha-, beta-, and gamma-HCs, each appearing to have a distinct role. To determine the precise molecular mechanism of their function, cross-sectional electron micrographs of wild-type and single HC-disruption mutants were compared and statistically analyzed. While the alpha-HC mutant displayed an OAD of lower density, which was attributed to a lack of alpha-HC, the OAD of beta- and gamma-HC mutants not only lacked the corresponding HC, but was also significantly affected in its structure, particularly with respect to the localization of alpha-HC. The lack of beta-HC induced mislocalization of alpha-HC, while a disruption of the gamma-HC gene resulted in the synchronized movement of alpha-HC and beta-HC in the manners for stacking. Interestingly, using cryo-electron microscopy, purified OADs were typically observed consisting of two stacked heads and an independent single head, which presumably corresponded to gamma-HC. This conformation is different from previous reports in which the three HCs displayed a stacked form in flagella observed by cryo-electron tomography and a bouquet structure on mica in deep-etch replica images. These results suggest that gamma-HC supports the tight stacking arrangement of inter or intra alpha-/beta-HC to facilitate the proper functioning of OAD.
Caenorhabditis elegans gelsolin-like protein-1 (GSNL-1) is a new member of the gelsolin family of actin regulatory proteins [Klaavuniemi, T., Yamashiro, S., and Ono, S. (2008) J. Biol. Chem. 283, 26071-26080]. It is an unconventional gelsolin-related protein with four gelsolin-like (G) domains (G1-G4), unlike typical gelsolin-related proteins with three or six G domains. GSNL-1 severs actin filaments and caps the barbed end in a calcium-dependent manner similar to that of gelsolin. In contrast, GSNL-1 has properties different from those of gelsolin in that it remains bound to F-actin and does not nucleate actin polymerization. To understand the mechanism by which GSNL-1 regulates actin dynamics, we investigated the domain-function relationship of GSNL-1 by analyzing activities of truncated forms of GSNL-1. G1 and the linker between G1 and G2 were sufficient for actin filament severing, whereas G1 and G2 were required for barbed end capping. The actin severing activity of GSNL-1 was inhibited by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), and a PIP2-sensitive domain was mapped to G1 and G2. At least two actin-binding sites were detected: a calcium-dependent G-actin-binding site in G1 and a calcium-independent G- and F-actin-binding site in G3 and G4. These results reveal both conserved and different utilization of G domains between C. elegans GSNL-1 and mammalian gelsolin for actin regulatory functions.
The movements of cilia and flagella are driven by multiple species of dynein heavy chains (DHCs), which constitute inner- and outer-dynein arms. In Chlamydomonas, 11 DHC proteins have been identified in the axoneme, but 14 genes encoding axonemal DHCs are present in the genome. Here, we assigned each previously unassigned DHC gene to a particular DHC protein and found that DHC3, DHC4 and DHC11 encode novel, relatively low abundance DHCs. Immunofluorescence microcopy revealed that DHC11 is localized exclusively to the proximal approximately 2 microm region of the approximately 12 microm long flagellum. Analyses of growing flagella suggested that DHC3 and DHC4 are also localized to the proximal region. By contrast, the DHC of a previously identified inner-arm dynein, dynein b, displayed an inverse distribution pattern. Thus, the proximal portion of the flagellar axoneme apparently differs in dynein composition from the remaining portion; this difference might be relevant to the special function performed by the flagellar base.
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