In vitro synthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) incorporating lactate (LA) with a block sequence by using a newly engineered thermostable PHA synthase from Pseudomonas sp. SG4502 with acquired LA-polymerizing activity

Kenji Tajima, Xuerong Han, Yasuharu Satoh, Ayako Ishii, Yuji Araki, Masanobu Munekata, Seiichi Taguchi
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2012, 94 (2): 365-76
Recently, we succeeded in isolating a thermotolerant bacterium, Pseudomonas sp. SG4502, which is capable of accumulating polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) even at 55 °C, as a source of thermostable enzymes. In this study, we cloned a pha locus from the bacterium and identified two genes encoding PHA synthases (PhaC1(SG) and PhaC2(SG)). Two mutations, Ser324Thr and Gln480Lys, corresponding to those of a lactate (LA)-polymerizing enzyme (LPE) from mesophilic Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 were introduced into PhaC1(SG) to evaluate the potential of the resulting protein as a "thermostable LPE". The mutated PhaC1(SG) [PhaC1(SG)(STQK)] showed high thermal stability in synthesizing P(LA-co-3HB) in an in vitro reaction system under a range of high temperatures. Requirement of 3HBCoA as a priming unit for LA polymerization by the LPE has been suggested in both of the in vitro and in vivo experiments. Based on the finding, the PhaC1(SG)(STQK)-mediated synthesis of a LA-based copolymer with a block sequence was achieved in the in vitro system by sequential feeding of the corresponding two substrates. This in vitro reaction system using the thermostable LPE provides us with a versatile way to synthesize the various types of LA-based copolymers with desired sequence patterns, random or block, depending on the way of supplying hydroxyalkanoates (mixed or sequential feeding).

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