Biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) copolymer from fructose using wild-type and laboratory-evolved PHA synthases

Takeharu Tsuge, Kotaro Yano, Shin-ichi Imazu, Keiji Numata, Yoshihiro Kikkawa, Hideki Abe, Seiichi Taguchi, Yoshiharu Doi
Macromolecular Bioscience 2005 February 23, 5 (2): 112-7
Eleven laboratory-evolved polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthases which originated from Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 enzyme (PhaC1(Ps)), together with the wild-type enzyme, were applied for PHA synthesis from fructose using Ralstonia eutropha PHB(-)4 as a host strain. The evolved PhaC1(Ps) mutants had amino acid substitution(s) at position 325 and/or position 481. In these mutants, serine-325 (S325) was replaced by cysteine (C) or threonine (T), while glutamine-481 (Q481) was replaced by lysine (K), methionine (M) or arginine (R). All recombinant strains harboring the genes of the evolved PhaC1(Ps) mutants produced a significantly increased amount of PHA (55-68 wt.-%) compared with the one harboring the wild-type gene (49 wt.-%). Particularly, those evolved PhaC1(Ps) mutants having multiple amino acid substitutions showed higher activities for PHA synthesis. Characterization of the PHA by NMR spectroscopy revealed that they were copolymers consisting of (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate (98-99 mol-%) and medium-chain-length comonomers (1-2 mol-%). This study also confirmed that amino acid substitution at position 481 in PhaC1(Ps) led to an increasing molecular weight of PHA. The number-average molecular weight (Mn) of PHA (Mn = 240,000) synthesized by the evolved PhaC1(Ps) (Q481K) mutant was 4.6-fold greater than that (Mn = 52,000) synthesized by the wild-type enzyme.

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