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Title: Discovery of l-threonine transaldolases for enhanced biosynthesis of beta-hydroxylated amino acids

Beta-hydroxy non-standard amino acids (β-OH-nsAAs) have utility as small molecule drugs, precursors for beta-lactone antibiotics, and building blocks for polypeptides. While the L-threonine transaldolase (TTA), ObiH, is a promising enzyme for β-OH-nsAA biosynthesis, little is known about other natural TTA sequences. We ascertained the specificity of the TTA enzyme class more comprehensively by characterizing 12 candidate TTA gene products across a wide range (20-80%) of sequence identities. We found that addition of a solubility tag substantially enhanced the soluble protein expression level within this difficult-to-express enzyme family. Using an optimized coupled enzyme assay, we identified six TTAs, including one with less than 30% sequence identity to ObiH that exhibits broader substrate scope, two-fold higher L-Threonine (L-Thr) affinity, and five-fold faster initial reaction rates under conditions tested. We harnessed these TTAs for first-time bioproduction of β-OH-nsAAs with handles for bio-orthogonal conjugation from supplemented precursors during aerobic fermentation of engineeredEscherichia coli, where we observed that higher affinity of the TTA for L-Thr increased titer. Overall, our work reveals an unexpectedly high level of sequence diversity and broad substrate specificity in an enzyme family whose members play key roles in the biosynthesis of therapeutic natural products that could benefit from chemical diversification.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Communications Biology
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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