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Improvement of the acid resistance, catalytic efficiency, and thermostability of nattokinase by multisite-directed mutagenesis

Zhongmei Liu, Han Zhao, Laichuang Han, Wenjing Cui, Li Zhou, Zhemin Zhou
Biotechnology and Bioengineering 2019 April 1
Nattokinase (NK) is a serine protease of the subtilisin family; as a potent fibrinolytic enzyme, it is potentially useful for thrombosis therapy. For NK to be applied as an oral medicine for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, it must overcome the extremely acidic environments of the gastrointestinal tract despite its limited acidic stability. In this study, three strategies were adopted to improve the acid resistance of NK: (a) Surface charge engineering, (b) sequence alignment, and (c) mutation based on the literature. Eleven variants were constructed and four single-point mutations were screened out for their distinctive catalytic properties: Q59E increased the specific activity; S78T improved the acid stability; Y217K enhanced the acid and thermal stabilities; and N218D improved the thermostability. Based on these observations, multipoint variants were constructed and characterized, and one variant with better acid stability, catalytic efficiency, and thermostability was obtained. Molecular dynamics simulation was carried out to clarify the molecular mechanism of the increased stability of S78T and Y217K mutants under acidic conditions. This study explored effective strategies to engineer acid resistance of NK; moreover, the NK variants with better catalytic properties found in this study have potential applications for the medical industry.


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