Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Search results for: biocatalysis

12 Cell Surface Display of Xylanase on Escherichia coli by TibA Autotransporter

Authors: Yeng Min Yi, Rosli Md Illias, Salehhuddin Hamdan


Industrial biocatalysis is mainly based on the use of cell free or intracellular enzyme systems. However, the expensive cost and relatively lower operational stability of free enzymes limit practical use in industries. Cell surface display system can be used as a cost-efficient alternative to overcome the laborious purification and substrate transport limitation. In this research, TibA autotransporter from E. coli was used to display Aspergillus fumigatus xylanase (xyn). The amplified xyn was fused in between N-terminal signal peptide and C-terminal β-barrel of TibA. The cloned was transformed and expressed in E. coli BL21 (DE3). Outer membrane localization of TibA-xyn fusion protein was confirmed by SDS PAGE and western blot with expected size of 62.5 kDa. Functional display of xyn was examined by activity assay. Cell surface displayed xyn exhibited the highest activity at 37 °c, 0.3 mM IPTG. As a summary, TibA displaying system has the potential for further industrial applications. Moreover, this is the first report of the display of xylanase using TibA on the surface of E. coli.

Keywords: biocatalysis, cell surface display, Escherichia coli, TibA autotransporter

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11 Improvement on the Specific Activities of Immobilized Enzymes by Poly(Ethylene Oxide) Surface Modification

Authors: Shaohua Li, Aihua Zhang, Kelly Zatopek, Saba Parvez, Andrew F. Gardner, Ivan R. Corrêa Jr., Christopher J. Noren, Ming-Qun Xu


Covalent immobilization of enzymes on solid supports is an alternative approach to biocatalysis with the added benefits of simple enzyme removal, improved stability, and adaptability to automation and high-throughput applications. Nevertheless, immobilized enzymes generally suffer from reduced activities compared to their soluble counterparts. One major factor leading to activity loss is the intrinsic hydrophobic property of the supporting material surface, which could result in the conformational change/confinement of enzymes. We report a strategy of utilizing flexible poly (ethylene oxide) (PEO) moieties as to improve the surface hydrophilicity of solid supports used for enzyme immobilization. DNA modifying enzymes were covalently conjugated to PEO-coated magnetic-beads. Kinetics studies proved that the activities of the covalently-immobilized DNA modifying enzymes were greatly enhanced by the PEO modification on the bead surface.

Keywords: immobilized enzymes, biocatalysis, poly(ethylene oxide), surface modification

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10 Production of Antimicrobial Agents against Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus through the Biocatalysis of Vegetable Oils

Authors: Hak-Ryul Kim, Hyung-Geun Lee, Qi Long, Ching Hou


Structural modification of natural lipids via chemical reaction or microbial bioconversion can change their properties or even create novel functionalities. Enzymatic oxidation of lipids leading to formation of oxylipin is one of those modifications. Hydroxy fatty acids, one of those oxylipins have gained important attentions because of their structural and functional properties compared with other non-hydroxy fatty acids. Recently 7,10-dihydroxy-8(E)-octadecenoic acid (DOD) was produced with high yield from lipid-containing oleic acid by microbial conversion, and the further study confirmed that DOD contained strong antimicrobial activities against a broad range of microorganisms. In this study, we tried to modify DOD molecules by the enzymatic or physical reaction to create new functionality or to enhance the antimicrobial activity of DOD. After modification of DOD molecules by different ways, we confirmed that the antimicrobial activity of DOD was highly enhanced and presented strong antimicrobial activities against multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, suggesting that DOD and its derivatives can be used as efficient antimicrobial agents for medical and industrial applications.

Keywords: biocatalysis, antimicrobial agent, multidrug-resistant bacteria, vegetable oil

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9 Development of Broad Spectrum Nitrilase Biocatalysts and Bioprocesses for Nitrile Biotransformation

Authors: Avinash Vellore Sunder, Shikha Shah, Pramod P. Wangikar


The enzymatic conversion of nitriles to carboxylic acids by nitrilases has gained significance in the green synthesis of several pharmaceutical precursors and fine chemicals. While nitrilases have been characterized from different sources, the industrial application requires the identification of nitrilases that possess higher substrate tolerance, wider specificity and better thermostability, along with the development of an efficient bioprocess for producing large amounts of nitrilase. To produce large amounts of nitrilase, we developed a fed-batch fermentation process on defined media for the high cell density cultivation of E. coli cells expressing the well-studied nitrilase from Alcaligenes fecalis. A DO-stat feeding approach was employed combined with an optimized post-induction strategy to achieve nitrilase titer of 2.5*105 U/l and 78 g/l dry cell weight. We also identified 16 novel nitrilase sequences from genome mining and analysis of substrate binding residues. The nitrilases were expressed in E. coli and their biocatalytic potential was evaluated on a panel of 22 industrially relevant nitrile substrates using high-throughput screening and HPLC analysis. Nine nitrilases were identified to exhibit high activity on structurally diverse nitriles including aliphatic and aromatic dinitriles, heterocyclic, -hydroxy and -keto nitriles. With fed-batch biotransformation, whole-cell Zobelia galactanivorans nitrilase achieved yields of 2.4 M nicotinic acid and 1.8 M isonicotinic acid from 3-cyanopyridine and 4-cyanopyridine respectively within 5 h, while Cupravidus necator nitrilase enantioselectively converted 740 mM mandelonitrile to (R)–mandelic acid. The nitrilase from Achromobacter insolitus could hydrolyze 542 mM iminodiacetonitrile in 1 h. The availability of highly active nitrilases along with bioprocesses for enzyme production expands the toolbox for industrial biocatalysis.

Keywords: biocatalysis, isonicotinic acid, iminodiacetic acid, mandelic acid, nitrilase

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8 Development of a Two-Step 'Green' Process for (-) Ambrafuran Production

Authors: Lucia Steenkamp, Chris V. D. Westhuyzen, Kgama Mathiba


Ambergris, and more specifically its oxidation product (–)-ambrafuran, is a scarce, valuable, and sought-after perfumery ingredient. The material is used as a fixative agent to stabilise perfumes in formulations by reducing the evaporation rate of volatile substances. Ambergris is a metabolic product of the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephatus L.), resulting from intestinal irritation. Chemically, (–)-ambrafuran is produced from the natural product sclareol in eight synthetic steps – in the process using harsh and often toxic chemicals to do so. An overall yield of no more than 76% can be achieved in some routes, but generally, this is lower. A new 'green' route has been developed in our laboratory in which sclareol, extracted from the Clary sage plant, is converted to (–)-ambrafuran in two steps with an overall yield in excess of 80%. The first step uses a microorganism, Hyphozyma roseoniger, to bioconvert sclareol to an intermediate diol using substrate concentrations up to 50g/L. The yield varies between 90 and 67% depending on the substrate concentration used. The purity of the diol product is 95%, and the diol is used without further purification in the next step. The intermediate diol is then cyclodehydrated to the final product (–)-ambrafuran using a zeolite, which is not harmful to the environment and is readily recycled. The yield of the product is 96%, and following a single recrystallization, the purity of the product is > 99.5%. A preliminary LC-MS study of the bioconversion identified several intermediates produced in the fermentation broth under oxygen-restricted conditions. Initially, a short-lived ketone is produced in equilibrium with a more stable pyranol, a key intermediate in the process. The latter is oxidised under Norrish type I cleavage conditions to yield an acetate, which is hydrolysed either chemically or under lipase action to afford the primary fermentation product, an intermediate diol. All the intermediates identified point to the likely CYP450 action as the key enzyme(s) in the mechanism. This invention is an exceptional example of how the power of biocatalysis, combined with a mild, benign chemical step, can be deployed to replace a total chemical synthesis of a specific chiral antipode of a commercially relevant material.

Keywords: ambrafuran, biocatalysis, fragrance, microorganism

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7 Immobilization Strategy of Recombinant Xylanase from Trichoderma reesei by Cross-Linked Enzyme Aggregates

Authors: S. Md. Shaarani, J. Md. Jahim, R. A. Rahman, R. Md. Illias


Modern developments in biotechnology have paved the way for extensive use of biocatalysis in industries. Although it offers immense potential, industrial application is usually hampered by lack of operational stability, difficulty in recovery as well as limited re-use of the enzyme. These drawbacks, however, can be overcome by immobilization. Cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs), a versatile carrier-free immobilization technique is one that is currently capturing global interest. This approach involves precipitating soluble enzyme with an appropriate precipitant and subsequent crosslinking by a crosslinking reagent. Without ineffective carriers, CLEAs offer high enzymatic activity, stability and reduced production cost. This study demonstrated successful CLEA synthesis of recombinant xylanase from Trichoderma reesei using ethanol as aggregating agent and glutaraldehyde (2% (v/v); 100 mM) as crosslinker. Effects of additives including proteic feeder such as bovine serum albumin (BSA) and poly-L-Lysine were investigated to reveal its significance in enhancing the performance of enzyme. Addition of 0.1 mg BSA/U xylanase showed considerable increment in CLEA development with approximately 50% retained activity.

Keywords: cross-linked, immobilization, recombinant, xylanase

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6 Point-Mutation in a Rationally Engineered Esterase Inverts its Enantioselectivity

Authors: Yasser Gaber, Mohamed Ismail, Serena Bisagni, Mohamad Takwa, Rajni Hatti-Kaul


Enzymes are safe and selective catalysts. They skillfully catalyze chemical reactions; however, the native form is not usually suitable for industrial applications. Enzymes are therefore engineered by several techniques to meet the required catalytic task. Clopidogrel is recorded among the five best selling pharmaceutical in 2010 under the brand name Plavix. The commonly used route for production of the drug on an industrial scale is the synthesis of the racemic mixture followed by diastereomeric resolution to obtain the pure S isomer. The process consumes a lot of solvents and chemicals. We have evaluated a biocatalytic cleaner approach for asymmetric hydrolysis of racemic clopidogrel. Initial screening of a selected number of hydrolases showed only one enzyme EST to exhibit activity and selectivity towards the desired stereoisomer. As the crude EST is a mixture of several isoenzymes, a homology model of EST-1 was used in molecular dynamic simulations to study the interaction of the enzyme with R and S isomers of clopidogrel. Analysis of the geometric hindrances of the tetrahedral intermediates revealed a potential site for mutagenesis in order to improve the activity and the selectivity. Single point mutation showed dramatic increase in activity and inversion of the enantioselectivity (400 fold change in E value).

Keywords: biocatalysis, biotechnology, enzyme, protein engineering, molecular modeling

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5 Thermophysical Properties of Glycine/L-Alanine in 1-Butyl-3-Methylimidazolium Bromide and in 1-Butyl-3-Methylimidazolium Chloride

Authors: Tarnveer Kaur


Amino acids, as fundamental structural units of peptides and proteins, have an important role in biological systems by affecting solubility, denaturation, and activity of biomolecules. A study of these effects on thermophysical properties of model compounds in the presence of electrolytes solutions provides information about solute-solvent and solute-solute interactions on biomolecules. Ionic liquids (ILs) as organic electrolytes and green solvents are composed of an organic cation and an inorganic anion, which are liquid at ambient conditions. In the past decade, extensive investigations showed that the use of ILs as reaction media for processes involving biologically relevant compounds is promising in view of their successful application in kinetic resolution, biocatalysis, biosynthesis, separation, and purification processes. The scope of this information is valuable to explore the interactions of amino acids in ILs. To reach this purpose, apparent molar volumes of glycine/L-alanine in aqueous solutions of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide/chloride were determined from precise density measurements at temperatures T = (288.15-318.15) K and at atmospheric pressure. Positive values for all the studied amino acids indicate the dominance of hydrophilic-ionic interactions between amino acids and Ionic liquids. The effect of temperature on volumetric properties of glycine/L-alanine in solutions has been determined from the partial molar expansibility and second-order partial molar expansibility. Further, volumetric interaction parameters and hydration number have been calculated, which have been interpreted in terms of possible solute-solvent interactions.

Keywords: ILs, amino acids, volumetric properties, hydration numbers

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4 The Application of Enzymes on Pharmaceutical Products and Process Development

Authors: Reginald Anyanwu


Enzymes are biological molecules that significantly regulate the rate of almost all of the chemical reactions that take place within cells, and have been widely used for products’ innovations. They are vital for life and serve a wide range of important functions in the body, such as aiding in digestion and metabolism. The present study was aimed at finding out the extent to which biological molecules have been utilized by pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and biofuel industries in commercial and scale up applications. Taking into account the escalating business opportunities in this vertical, biotech firms have also been penetrating enzymes industry especially that of food. The aim of the study therefore was to find out how biocatalysis can be successfully deployed; how enzyme application can improve industrial processes. To achieve the purpose of the study, the researcher focused on the analytical tools that are critical for the scale up implementation of enzyme immobilization to ascertain the extent of increased product yield at minimum logistical burden and maximum market profitability on the environment and user. The researcher collected data from four pharmaceutical companies located at Anambra state and Imo state of Nigeria. Questionnaire items were distributed to these companies. The researcher equally made a personal observation on the applicability of these biological molecules on innovative Products since there is now shifting trends toward the consumption of healthy and quality food. In conclusion, it was discovered that enzymes have been widely used for products’ innovations but there are however variations on their applications. It was also found out that pivotal contenders of enzymes market have lately been making heavy investments in the development of innovative product solutions. It was recommended that the applications of enzymes on innovative products should be widely practiced.

Keywords: enzymes, pharmaceuticals, process development, quality food consumption, scale-up applications

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3 High Level Expression of Fluorinase in Escherichia Coli and Pichia Pastoris

Authors: Lee A. Browne, K. Rumbold


The first fluorinating enzyme, 5'-fluoro-5'-deoxyadenosine synthase (fluorinase) was isolated from the soil bacterium Streptomyces cattleya. Such an enzyme, with the ability to catalyze a C-F bond, presents great potential as a biocatalyst. Naturally fluorinated compounds are extremely rare in nature. As a result, the number of fluorinases identified remains relatively few. The field of fluorination is almost completely synthetic. However, with the increasing demand for fluorinated organic compounds of commercial value in the agrochemical, pharmaceutical and materials industries, it has become necessary to utilize biologically based methods such as biocatalysts. A key step in this crucial process is the large-scale production of the fluorinase enzyme in considerable quantities for industrial applications. Thus, this study aimed to optimize expression of the fluorinase enzyme in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems in order to obtain high protein yields. The fluorinase gene was cloned into the pET 41b(+) and pPinkα-HC vectors and used to transform the expression hosts, E.coli BL21(DE3) and Pichia pastoris (PichiaPink™ strains) respectively. Expression trials were conducted to select optimal conditions for expression in both expression systems. Fluorinase catalyses a reaction between S-adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAM) and fluoride ion to produce 5'-fluorodeoxyadenosine (5'FDA) and L-Methionine. The activity of the enzyme was determined using HPLC by measuring the product of the reaction 5'FDA. A gradient mobile phase of 95:5 v/v 50mM potassium phosphate buffer to a final mobile phase containing 80:20 v/v 50mM potassium phosphate buffer and acetonitrile were used. This resulted in the complete separation of SAM and 5’-FDA which eluted at 1.3 minutes and 3.4 minutes respectively. This proved that the fluorinase enzyme was active. Optimising expression of the fluorinase enzyme was successful in both E.coli and PichiaPink™ where high expression levels in both expression systems were achieved. Protein production will be scaled up in PichiaPink™ using fermentation to achieve large-scale protein production. High level expression of protein is essential in biocatalysis for the availability of enzymes for industrial applications.

Keywords: biocatalyst, expression, fluorinase, PichiaPink™

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2 De Novo Design of Functional Metalloproteins for Biocatalytic Reactions

Authors: Ketaki D. Belsare, Nicholas F. Polizzi, Lior Shtayer, William F. DeGrado


Nature utilizes metalloproteins to perform chemical transformations with activities and selectivities that have long been the inspiration for design principles in synthetic and biological systems. The chemical reactivities of metalloproteins are directly linked to local environment effects produced by the protein matrix around the metal cofactor. A complete understanding of how the protein matrix provides these interactions would allow for the design of functional metalloproteins. The de novo computational design of proteins have been successfully used in design of active sites that bind metals like di-iron, zinc, copper containing cofactors; however, precisely designing active sites that can bind small molecule ligands (e.g., substrates) along with metal cofactors is still a challenge in the field. The de novo computational design of a functional metalloprotein that contains a purposefully designed substrate binding site would allow for precise control of chemical function and reactivity. Our research strategy seeks to elucidate the design features necessary to bind the cofactor protoporphyrin IX (hemin) in close proximity to a substrate binding pocket in a four helix bundle. First- and second-shell interactions are computationally designed to control orientation, electronic structure, and reaction pathway of the cofactor and substrate. The design began with a parameterized helical backbone that positioned a single histidine residue (as an axial ligand) to receive a second-shell H-bond from a Threonine on the neighboring helix. The metallo-cofactor, hemin was then manually placed in the binding site. A structural feature, pi-bulge was introduced to give substrate access to the protoporphyrin IX. These de novo metalloproteins are currently being tested for their activity towards hydroxylation and epoxidation. The de novo designed protein shows hydroxylation of aniline to 4-aminophenol. This study will help provide structural information of utmost importance in understanding de novo computational design variables impacting the functional activities of a protein.

Keywords: metalloproteins, protein design, de novo protein, biocatalysis

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1 Functional Ingredients from Potato By-Products: Innovative Biocatalytic Processes

Authors: Salwa Karboune, Amanda Waglay


Recent studies indicate that health-promoting functional ingredients and nutraceuticals can help support and improve the overall public health, which is timely given the aging of the population and the increasing cost of health care. The development of novel ‘natural’ functional ingredients is increasingly challenging. Biocatalysis offers powerful approaches to achieve this goal. Our recent research has been focusing on the development of innovative biocatalytic approaches towards the isolation of protein isolates from potato by-products and the generation of peptides. Potato is a vegetable whose high-quality proteins are underestimated. In addition to their high proportion in the essential amino acids, potato proteins possess angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibitory potency, an ability to reduce plasma triglycerides associated with a reduced risk of atherosclerosis, and stimulate the release of the appetite regulating hormone CCK. Potato proteins have long been considered not economically feasible due to the low protein content (27% dry matter) found in tuber (Solanum tuberosum). However, potatoes rank the second largest protein supplying crop grown per hectare following wheat. Potato proteins include patatin (40-45 kDa), protease inhibitors (5-25 kDa), and various high MW proteins. Non-destructive techniques for the extraction of proteins from potato pulp and for the generation of peptides are needed in order to minimize functional losses and enhance quality. A promising approach for isolating the potato proteins was developed, which involves the use of multi-enzymatic systems containing selected glycosyl hydrolase enzymes that synergistically work to open the plant cell wall network. This enzymatic approach is advantageous due to: (1) the use of milder reaction conditions, (2) the high selectivity and specificity of enzymes, (3) the low cost and (4) the ability to market natural ingredients. Another major benefit to this enzymatic approach is the elimination of a costly purification step; indeed, these multi-enzymatic systems have the ability to isolate proteins, while fractionating them due to their specificity and selectivity with minimal proteolytic activities. The isolated proteins were used for the enzymatic generation of active peptides. In addition, they were applied into a reduced gluten cookie formulation as consumers are putting a high demand for easy ready to eat snack foods, with high nutritional quality and limited to no gluten incorporation. The addition of potato protein significantly improved the textural hardness of reduced gluten cookies, more comparable to wheat flour alone. The presentation will focus on our recent ‘proof-of principle’ results illustrating the feasibility and the efficiency of new biocatalytic processes for the production of innovative functional food ingredients, from potato by-products, whose potential health benefits are increasingly being recognized.

Keywords: biocatalytic approaches, functional ingredients, potato proteins, peptides

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