Τετάρτη, 1 Μαΐου 2019

Microbiology

Chromium(VI) reduction in Streptomyces sp. M7 mediated by a novel Old Yellow Enzyme

Abstract

Old Yellow Enzymes play key roles in several cellular processes and have become an important family of enzymes with biotechnological potential. One of the major challenges of biotechnology consists of the bioremediation of co-polluted soils with organic and inorganic compounds. In co-contaminated areas, chromium normally exists in its more toxic and carcinogenic form Cr(VI). Microorganisms can reduce this metal to the insoluble and less toxic Cr(III). Streptomyces sp. M7 is a strain able to efficiently bioremediate polluted soils with γ-hexachlorocyclohexane and Cr(VI). The complete degradation pathway for γ-hexachlorocyclohexane was recently elucidated in this strain. In the present work, we confirmed the ability of Streptomyces sp. M7 to eliminate a high percentage of Cr(VI) from a synthetic culture medium. After a transcriptional study in the presence of Cr(VI), we also report the molecular cloning of a gene coding for an Old Yellow Enzyme with chromate reductase activity. Our results suggest that the elimination of Cr(VI) by Streptomyces sp. M7 is directly related to the activity of this Old Yellow Enzyme. The importance of our work is in identifying for the first time an Old Yellow Enzyme with chromate reductase activity in Streptomyces and Actinobacteria. Finding this enzyme helps understand chromium homeostasis in Streptomyces sp. M7, in addition to opening a new research window related to Old Yellow Enzymes from Actinobacteria.



Advancing biomarkers for anaerobic o -xylene biodegradation via metagenomic analysis of a methanogenic consortium

Abstract

Quantifying functional biomarker genes and their transcripts provides critical lines of evidence for contaminant biodegradation; however, accurate quantification depends on qPCR primers that contain no, or minimal, mismatches with the target gene. Developing accurate assays has been particularly challenging for genes encoding fumarate-adding enzymes (FAE) due to the high level of genetic diversity in this gene family. In this study, metagenomics applied to a field-derived, o-xylene-degrading methanogenic consortium revealed genes encoding FAE that would not be accurately quantifiable by any previously available PCR assays. Sequencing indicated that a gene similar to the napthylmethylsuccinate synthase gene (nmsA) was most abundant, although benzylsuccinate synthase genes (bssA) also were present along with genes encoding alkylsuccinate synthase (assA). Upregulation of the nmsA-like gene was observed during o-xylene degradation. Protein homology modeling indicated that mutations in the active site, relative to a BssA that acts on toluene, increase binding site volume and accessibility, potentially to accommodate the relatively larger o-xylene. The new nmsA-like gene was also detected at substantial concentrations at field sites with a history of xylene contamination.



Role of β-oxidation and de novo fatty acid synthesis in the production of rhamnolipids and polyhydroxyalkanoates by Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa are ubiquitous γ-proteobacteria capable of producing the biosurfactant rhamnolipids (RL) and the polymer polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). RL are glycolipids with high biotechnological potential, whereas PHA is used for the production of biodegradable plastics. It has been proposed that the β-oxidation pathway provides intermediates for RL biosynthesis, even when using a non-fatty acid carbon source for growth, while an intermediate of de novo fatty acid biosynthesis (FASII) pathway [(R)-3-hydroxyacyl-ACP] is used for PHA biosynthesis. The aim of this work is to study the inter-relationship of the RL and PHA biosynthetic pathways in a culture medium with a non-fatty acid carbon source, focusing on the role of FASII and β-oxidation in supplying the substrates for the first step in RL and PHA synthesis, carried out by the RhlA and PhaG enzymes, respectively. The PHA synthases (PhaC1 and PhaC2) are only able to use CoA-linked 3-hydroxy acids and the PhaG enzyme catalyzes the conversion of (R)-3-hydroxyacyl-ACP to (R)-3-hydroxyacyl-CoA, the substrate of PhaC1 and PhaC2. RhlA in turn catalyzes the synthesis of the RL precursor 3-(3-hydroxyalkanoyloxy) alkanoic acids (HAA) by the dimerization of two 3-hydroxyalkanoic acid molecules (that have been shown to be also (R)-3-hydroxyacyl-ACP). In this work, we show that RhlA can produce both RL and PHA precursors (presumably CoA-linked HAA), that the blockage of carbon flux through β-oxidation pathway does not decrease RL titer, and that the enoyl-CoA hydratase RhlY and enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase RhlZ produce the main fatty acids precursor of RL using as substrate also a FASII intermediate (presumably (S)-3-hydroxyacyl-CoA).



Biological agents for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid herbicide degradation

Abstract

Phenoxy herbicides are the most widely used family of herbicides worldwide. The dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is extensively used as a weed killer on cereal crops and pastures. This herbicide is highly water-soluble, and even after a long period of disuse, considerable amounts of both 2,4-D and its main product of degradation, 2,4 dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP), might be found in nature. Biological decomposition of pesticides is an expressive and effective way for the removal of these compounds from the environment. The role of bacteria as well as the enzymes and genes that regulate the 2,4-D degradation has been widely studied, but the 2,4-D degradation by fungi, especially regarding the ability of white-rot basidiomycetes as agent for its bioconversion, has been not extensively considered. This review discusses the current knowledge about the biochemical mechanisms of 2,4-D biodegradation, focused on the role of white-rot fungi in this process. Finally, the cultivation conditions and medium composition for the growth of 2,4-D-degrading microorganisms are also addressed.



Enhancing the atypical esterase promiscuity of the γ-lactamase Sspg from Sulfolobus solfataricus by substrate screening

Abstract

Promiscuous enzymes can be modified by protein engineering, which enables the catalysis of non-native substrates. γ-lactamase Sspg from Sulfolobus solfataricus is an enzyme with high activity, high stability, and pronounced tolerance of high concentrations of the γ-lactam substrate. These characteristics suggest Sspg as a robust enzymatic catalyst for the preparation of optically pure γ-lactam. This study investigated the modification of this enzyme to expand its application toward resolving chiral esters. γ-Lactamase-esterase conversion was performed by employing a three-step method: initial sequence alignment, followed by substrate screening, and protein engineering based on the obtained substrate-enzyme docking results. This process of fine-tuning of chemical groups on substrates has been termed "substrate screening." Steric hindrance and chemical reactivity of the substrate are major concerns during this step, since both are determining factors for the enzyme-substrate interaction. By employing this three-step method, γ-lactamase Sspg was successfully converted into an esterase with high enantioselectivity towards phenylglycidate substrates (E value > 300). However, since both wild-type Sspg and Sspg mutants did not hydrolyze para-nitrophenyl substrates (pNPs), this esterase activity was termed "atypical esterase activity." The γ-lactamase activity and stability of the Sspg mutants were not severely compromised. The proposed method can be applied to find novel multi-functional enzyme catalysts within existing enzyme pools.



Mutations in AraR leading to constitutive of arabinolytic genes in Aspergillus niger under derepressing conditions

Abstract

The AraR transcription factor of Aspergillus niger encodes a Zn(II)2Cys6 transcription factor required for the induction of genes encoding arabinolytic enzymes. One of the target genes of AraR is abfA, encoding an arabinofuranosidase. The expression of abfA as well as other L-arabinose-induced genes in A. niger requires the presence of L-arabinose or its derivative L-arabitol as an inducer to activate AraR-dependant gene expression. In this study, mutants were isolated that express L-arabinose-induced genes independently of the presence of an inducer under derepressing conditions. To obtain these mutants, a reporter strain was constructed in a ΔcreA background containing the L-arabinose-responsive promoter (PabfA) fused to the acetamidase (amdS) gene. Spores of the ΔcreA PabfA-amdS reporter strain were UV-mutagenized and mutants were obtained by their ability to grow on acetamide without the presence of inducer. From a total of 164 mutants, 15 mutants were identified to contain transacting mutations resulting in high arabinofuranosidase activity in the medium after growth under non-inducing conditions. Sequencing of the araR gene of the 15 constitutive mutants revealed that 14 mutants carried a mutation in AraR. Some mutations were found more than once and in total nine different point mutations were identified in AraR. The AraRN806I point mutation was reintroduced into a parental strain and confirmed that this point mutation leads to inducer-independent expression of AraR target genes. The inducer independent of L-arabinose-induced genes in the AraRN806I mutant was found to be sensitive to carbon catabolite repression, indicating that the CreA-mediated carbon catabolite repression is dominant over the AraRN806I mutant allele. These mutations in AraR provide new opportunities to improve arabinase production in industrial fungal strains.



Quantification of outer membrane vesicles: a potential tool to compare response in Pseudomonas putida KT2440 to stress caused by alkanols

Abstract

The bacterial release of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) is an important physiological mechanism of Gram-negative bacteria playing numerous key roles. One function of the release of OMVs is related to an increase in surface hydrophobicity. This phenomenon initiates biofilm formation, making bacteria more tolerant to environmental stressors. Recently, it was qualitatively shown for Pseudomonas putida that vesicle formation plays a crucial role in multiple stress responses. Yet, no quantification of OMVs for certain stress scenarios has been conducted. In this study, it is shown that the quantification of OMVs can serve as a simple and feasible tool, which allows a comparison of vesicle yields for different experimental setups, cell densities, and environmental stressors. Moreover, the obtained results provide insight to the underlying mechanism of vesicle formation as it was observed that n-alkanols, with a chain length of C7 and longer, caused a distinct and steep increase in vesiculation (12–19-fold), compared to shorter chain n-alkanols (2–4-fold increase).



High-level production of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide, as a calibrant of heart failure diagnosis, in Escherichia coli

Abstract

Heart failure (HF) is a coronary disease that affects people worldwide and has a high mortality rate. N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) has been proven to be a useful and accurate biomarker for diagnosing systolic HF. Here, we report a strategy for the high-level production of recombinant (r)NT-proBNP in Escherichia coli. An Fh8 tag with six histidines was fused to the N terminus of NT-proBNP along with the recognition site of tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease; the 6HFh8-NT-proBNP fusion peptide was expressed in flask cultures of E. coli in almost completely soluble form. The peptide was purified by HisTrap affinity chromatography, and the N-terminal tag was cleaved by TEV protease. After a second round of HisTrap affinity chromatography to remove the TEV protease and N-terminal tag, rNT-proBNP was isolated with high purity (≥ 98%) by carboxymethyl cation exchange chromatography. The final yield of purified rNT-proBNP (97.5 mg/l of bacterial culture; 3.25 mg/g of wet cell) was 55-fold higher than that reported in previous studies (0.5–1.75 mg/l of bacterial culture). Furthermore, the high cell density E. coli fed-batch culture enabled high-level production of rNT-proBNP in the order of grams per liter. The purified rNT-proBNP was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay using commercial monoclonal antibodies recognizing different epitopes, showing a linear dose-response relationship in the range of tested concentrations (slope = 3.58 and r2 = 0.995). These results demonstrate the efficiency of our process for mass producing (gram-to-liter level) rNT-proBNP with acceptable analytical performance.



The antitumor antibiotic rebeccamycin—challenges and advanced approaches in production processes

Abstract

Rebeccamycin is an antibiotic and antitumor substance isolated from the filamentous bacterium Lentzea aerocolonigenes. After its discovery, investigations of rebeccamycin focused on elucidating its structure, biological activity, and biosynthetic pathway. For potential medical application, a sufficient drug supply has to be ensured, meaning that the production process of rebeccamycin plays a major role. In addition to the natural production of rebeccamycin in L. aerocolonigenes, where the complex cell morphology is an important factor for a sufficient production, rebeccamycin can also be heterologously produced or chemically synthesized. Each of these production processes has its own challenges, and first approaches to production often lead to low final product concentrations, which is why process optimizations are performed. This review provides an overview of the production of rebeccamycin and the different approaches used for rebeccamycin formation including process optimizations.



Identification of genes involved in shea butter biosynthesis from Vitellaria paradoxa fruits through transcriptomics and functional heterologous expression

Abstract

Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) is one economically important plant species that mainly distributes in West Africa. Shea butter extracted from shea fruit kernels can be used as valuable products in the food and cosmetic industries. The most valuable composition in shea butter was one kind of triacylglycerol (TAG), 1,3-distearoyl-2-oleoyl-glycerol (SOS, C18:0–C18:1–C18:0). However, shea butter production is limited and little is known about the genetic information of shea tree. In this study, we tried to reveal genetic information of shea tree and identified shea TAG biosynthetic genes for future shea butter production in yeast cell factories. First, we measured lipid content, lipid composition, and TAG composition of seven shea fruits at different ripe stages. Then, we performed transcriptome analysis on two shea fruits containing obviously different levels of SOS and revealed a list of TAG biosynthetic genes potentially involved in TAG biosynthesis. In total, 4 glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) genes, 8 lysophospholipid acyltransferase (LPAT) genes, and 11 diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) genes in TAG biosynthetic pathway were predicted from the assembled transcriptome and 14 of them were cloned from shea fruit cDNA. Furthermore, the heterologous expression of these 14 potential GPAT, LPAT, and DGAT genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae changed yeast fatty acid and lipid profiles, suggesting that they functioned in S. cerevisiae. Moreover, two shea DGAT genes, VpDGAT1 and VpDGAT7, were identified as functional DGATs in shea tree, showing they might be useful for shea butter (SOS) production in yeast cell factories.



Alexandros Sfakianakis
Anapafseos 5 . Agios Nikolaos
Crete.Greece.72100
2841026182
6948891480

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