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Title: Orthogonal glycolytic pathway enables directed evolution of noncanonical cofactor oxidase

Noncanonical cofactor biomimetics (NCBs) such as nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN+) provide enhanced scalability for biomanufacturing. However, engineering enzymes to accept NCBs is difficult. Here, we establish a growth selection platform to evolve enzymes to utilize NMN+-based reducing power. This is based on an orthogonal, NMN+-dependent glycolytic pathway inEscherichia coliwhich can be coupled to any reciprocal enzyme to recycle the ensuing reduced NMN+. With a throughput of >106variants per iteration, the growth selection discovers aLactobacillus pentosusNADH oxidase variant with ~10-fold increase in NMNH catalytic efficiency and enhanced activity for other NCBs. Molecular modeling and experimental validation suggest that instead of directly contacting NCBs, the mutations optimize the enzyme’s global conformational dynamics to resemble the WT with the native cofactor bound. Restoring the enzyme’s access to catalytically competent conformation states via deep navigation of protein sequence space with high-throughput evolution provides a universal route to engineer NCB-dependent enzymes.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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