skip to main content

Title: Site-directed spin labeling-electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy in biocatalysis: Enzyme orientation and dynamics in nanoscale confinement
Site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) in combination with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy probes the otherwise inaccessible structural information in complex biological systems. We recently extended SDSL-EPR to reveal the relative orientation and backbone dynamics of enzymes upon encapsulation in mesoporous nanostructures, which set the structural basis underlying the observed biocatalytic activity. Our strategy had generated interest in the biocatalysis community, and thus in this resource article, we contribute an introduction to the principles and experimental procedure that generalize SDSL-EPR to heterogeneous biocatalysis. We will focus on enzymes in mesoporous materials with examples demonstrating the methods and cautions of potential pitfalls. The ultimate goal is to provide the biocatalysis community with a powerful resource to fill in a long-standing knowledge gap in heterogeneous biocatalysis and the structure-function relationship of enzymes at the interface of enzyme-mesoporous materials and utilize the structural insights to guide the rational design of porous platforms for enzyme immobilization.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Chem catalysis
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Confining proteins in synthetic nanoscale spatial compartments has offered a cell-free avenue to understand enzyme structure–function relationships and complex cellular processes near the physiological conditions, an important branch of fundamental protein biophysics studies. Enzyme confinement has also provided advancement in biocatalysis by offering enhanced enzyme reusability, cost-efficiency, and substrate selectivity in certain cases for research and industrial applications. However, the primary research efforts in this area have been focused on the development of novel confinement materials and investigating protein adsorption/interaction with various surfaces, leaving a fundamental knowledge gap, namely, the lack of understanding of the confined enzymes (note that enzyme adsorption to or interactions with surfaces differs from enzyme confinement as the latter offers an enhanced extent of restriction to enzyme movement and/or conformational flexibility). In particular, there is limited understanding of enzymes' structure, dynamics, translocation (into biological pores), folding, and aggregation in extreme cases upon confinement, and how confinement properties such as the size, shape, and rigidity affect these details. The first barrier to bridge this gap is the difficulty in “penetrating” the “shielding” of the confinement walls experimentally; confinement could also lead to high heterogeneity and dynamics in the entrapped enzymes, challenging most protein-probing experimental techniques. The complexity is raised by the variety in the possible confinement environments that enzymes may encounter in nature or on lab benches, which can be categorized to rigid confinement with regular shapes, rigid restriction without regular shapes, and flexible/dynamic confinement which also introduces crowding effects. Thus, to bridge such a knowledge gap, it is critical to combine advanced materials and cutting-edge techniques to re-create the various confinement conditions and understand enzymes therein. We have spearheaded in this challenging area by creating various confinement conditions to restrict enzymes while exploring experimental techniques to understand enzyme behaviors upon confinement at the molecular/residue level. This review is to summarize our key findings on the molecular level details of enzymes confined in (i) rigid compartments with regular shapes based on pre-formed, mesoporous nanoparticles and Metal–Organic Frameworks/Covalent-Organic Frameworks (MOFs/COFs), (ii) rigid confinement with irregular crystal defects with shapes close to the outline of the confined enzymes via co-crystallization of enzymes with certain metal ions and ligands in the aqueous phase (biomineralization), and (iii) flexible, dynamic confinement created by protein-friendly polymeric materials and assemblies. Under each case, we will focus our discussion on (a) the way to load enzymes into the confined spaces, (b) the structural basis of the function and behavior of enzymes within each compartment environments, and (c) technical advances of our methodology to probe the needed structural information. The purposes are to depict the chemical physics details of enzymes at the challenging interface of natural molecules and synthetic compartment materials, guide the selection of enzyme confinement platforms for various applications, and generate excitement in the community on combining cutting-edge technologies and synthetic materials to better understand enzyme performance in biophysics, biocatalysis, and biomedical applications.

    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Metal–organic frameworks/materials (MOFs/MOMs) are advanced enzyme immobilization platforms that improve biocatalysis, materials science, and protein biophysics. A unique way to immobilize enzymes is co-crystallization/co-precipitation, which removes the limitation on enzyme/substrate size. Thus far, most enzyme@MOF composites rely on the use of non-sustainable chemicals and, in certain cases, heavy metals, which not only creates concerns regarding environmental conservation but also limits their applications in nutrition and biomedicine. Here, we show that a dimeric compound derived from lignin, 5,5′-dehydrodivanillate (DDVA), co-precipitates with enzymes and low-toxicity metals, Ca2+ and Zn2+, and forms stable enzyme@Ca/Zn–MOM composites. We demonstrated this strategy on four enzymes with different isoelectric points (IEPs), molecular weights, and substrate sizes. Furthermore, we found that all enzymes displayed slightly different but reasonable catalytic efficiencies upon immobilization in the Ca–DDVA and Zn–DDVA MOMs, as well as reasonable reusability in both composites. We then probed the structural basis of such differences using a representative enzyme and found enhanced restriction of enzymes in Zn–DDVA than in Ca–DDVA, which might have caused the activity difference. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first aqueous-phase, one-pot synthesis of a lignin-derived “green” enzyme@MOF/MOM platform that can host enzymes without any limitations on enzyme IEP, molecular weight, and substrate size. The different morphologies and crystallinities of the composites formed by Ca–DDVA and Zn–DDVA MOMs broaden their applications depending on the problem of interest. Our approach of enzyme immobilization not only improves the sustainability/reusability of almost all enzymes but also reduces/eliminates the use of non-sustainable resources. This synthesis method has a negligible environmental impact while the products are non-toxic to living things and the environment. The biocompatibility also makes it possible to carry out enzyme delivery/release for nutritional or biomedical applications via our “green” biocomposites. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Many biocatalytic processes inside cells employ substrate channeling to control the diffusion of intermediates for improved efficiency of enzymatic cascade reactions. This inspirational mechanism offers a strategy for increasing efficiency of multistep biocatalysis, especially where the intermediates are expensive cofactors that require continuous regeneration. However, it is challenging to achieve substrate channeling artificially in vitro due to fast diffusion of small molecules. By mimicking some naturally occurring metabolons, nanoreactors are developed using P22 virus‐like particles (VLPs), which enhance the efficiency of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)‐dependent multistep biocatalysis by substrate channeling. In this design, NAD‐dependent enzyme partners are coencapsulated inside the VLPs, while the cofactor is covalently tethered to the capsid interior through swing arms. The crowded environment inside the VLPs induces colocalization of the enzymes and the immobilized NAD, which shuttles between the enzymes for in situ regeneration without diffusing into the bulk solution. The modularity of the nanoreactors allows to tune their composition and consequently their overall activity, and also remodel them for different reactions by altering enzyme partners. Given the plasticity and versatility, P22 VLPs possess great potential for developing functional materials capable of multistep biotransformations with advantageous properties, including enhanced efficiency and economical usage of enzyme cofactors.

    more » « less
  4. A leading biotechnological advancement in the field of biocatalysis is the immobilization of enzymes on solid supports to create more stable and recyclable systems. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous materials that have been explored as solid supports for enzyme immobilization. Composed of organic linkers and inorganic nodes, MOFs feature empty void space with large surface areas and have the ability to be modified post-synthesis. Our target enzyme system for immobilization is glucose oxidase (GOx) and chloroperoxidase (CPO). Glucose oxidase catalyzes the oxidation of glucose and is used for many applications in biosensing, biofuel cells, and food production. Chloroperoxidase is a fungal heme enzyme that catalyzes peroxide-dependent halogenation, oxidation, and hydroxylation. These two enzymes work sequentially in this enzyme system by GOx producing peroxide, which activates CPO that reacts with a suitable substrate. This study focuses on using a zirconium-based MOF, UiO-66-NH2, to immobilize the enzyme system via crosslinking with the MOF’s amine group on the surface of the MOF. This study investigates two different crosslinkers: disuccinimidyl glutarate (DSG) and 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-carbodiimide (EDC)/N-hydroxysuccinidimide (NHS), providing stable crosslinking of the MOF to the enzymes. The two crosslinkers are used to covalently bond CPO and GOx onto UiO-66-NH2, and a comparison of the recyclability and enzymatic activity of the single immobilization of CPO and the doubly immobilized CPO and GOx is discussed through assays and characterization analyses. The DSG-crosslinked composites displayed enhanced activity relative to the free enzyme, and all crosslinked enzyme/MOF composites demonstrated recyclability, with at least 30% of the activity being retained after four catalytic cycles. The results of this report will aid researchers in utilizing CPO as a biocatalyst that is more active and has greater recyclability. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Enzyme immobilization is an essential technology for commercializing biocatalysis. It imparts stability, recoverability, and other valuable features that improve the effectiveness of biocatalysts. While many avenues to join an enzyme to solid phases exist, protein‐mediated immobilization is rapidly developing and has many advantages. Protein‐mediated immobilization allows for the binding interaction to be genetically coded, can be used to create artificial multienzyme cascades, and enables modular designs that expand the variety of enzymes immobilized. By designing around binding interactions between protein domains, they can be integrated into functional materials for protein immobilization. These materials are framed within the context of biocatalytic performance, immobilization efficiency, and stability of the materials. In this review, supports composed entirely of protein are discussed first, with systems such as cellulosomes and protein cages being discussed alongside newer technologies like spore‐based biocatalysts and forizymes. Protein‐composite materials such as polymersomes and protein–inorganic supraparticles are then discussed to demonstrate how protein‐mediated strategies are applied to many classes of solid materials. Critical analysis and future directions of protein‐based immobilization are then discussed, with a particular focus on both computational and design strategies to advance this area of research and make it more broadly applicable to many classes of enzymes.

    more » « less