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  1. Enzyme encapsulation in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs)/covalent-organic frameworks (COFs) provides advancement in biocatalysis, yet the structural basis underlying the catalytic performance is challenging to probe. Here, we present an effective protocol to determine the orientation and dynamics of enzymes in MOFs/COFs using site-directed spin labeling and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. The protocol is demonstrated using lysozyme and can be generalized to other enzymes.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 17, 2022
  2. Protein transfer into nanoscale compartments is critical for many cellular/life processes, yet there are few reports on how compartment properties impact the protein orientation during a transfer. Such a knowledge gap limits a deeper understanding of the protein transfer mechanism, which could be bridged using nanoporous materials. Here, we use a mesoporous silica, a covalent organic framework, and a metal-organic framework with charged, hydrophobic, and neutral surfaces, respectively, to elucidate the impact of channel properties on the transfer of a model protein, lysozyme. Using site-directed spin labeling and time-resolved electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, we reveal that the transfer can bemore »a multi-step process depending on channel properties and depict the relative orientation changes of lysozyme upon transfer into each channel. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first structural insight into protein orientation upon transfer into different compartments, meaningful for the rational design of synthetic materials to host enzymes or mimic the cellular compartments.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 22, 2022
  3. Multiple-enzyme cooperation simultaneously is an effective approach to biomass conversion and biodegradation. The challenge, however, lies in the interference of the involved enzymes with each other, especially when a protease is needed, and thus, the difficulty in reusing the enzymes; while extracting/synthesizing new enzymes costs energy and negative impact on the environment. Here, we present a unique approach to immobilize multiple enzymes, including a protease, on a metal–organic material (MOM) via co-precipitation in order to enhance the reusability and sustainability. We prove our strategy on the degradation of starch-containing polysaccharides (require two enzymes to degrade) and food proteins (require amore »protease to digest) before the quantification of total dietary fiber. As compared to the widely adopted “official” method, which requires the sequential addition of three enzymes under different conditions (pH/temperature), the three enzymes can be simultaneously immobilized on the surface of our MOM crystals to allow for contact with the large substrates (starch), while MOMs offer sufficient protection to the enzymes so that the reusability and long-term storage are improved. Furthermore, the same biodegradation can be carried out without adjusting the reaction condition, further reducing the reaction time. Remarkably, the simultaneous presence of all enzymes enhances the reaction efficiency by a factor of ∼3 as compared to the official method. To our best knowledge, this is the first experimental demonstration of using aqueous-phase co-precipitation to immobilize multiple enzymes for large-substrate biocatalysis. The significantly enhanced efficiency can potentially impact the food industry by reducing the labor requirement and enhancing enzyme cost efficiency, leading to reduced food cost. The reduced energy cost of extracting enzymes and adjusting reaction conditions minimize the negative impact on the environment. The strategy to prevent protease damage in a multi-enzyme system can be adapted to other biocatalytic reactions involving proteases.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 3, 2022