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  1. Abstract

    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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  2. null (Ed.)
    Cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO) from Acinetobacter sp. NCIMB 9871 is characterized as having wide substrate versatility for the biooxidation of (cyclic) ketones into esters and lactones with high stereospecificity. Despite industrial potential, CHMO usage is restricted by poor thermostability. Limited high-throughput screening tools and challenges in rationally engineering thermostability have impeded CHMO engineering efforts. We demonstrate the application of an aerobic, high-throughput growth selection platform in Escherichia coli (strain MX203) for the discovery of thermostability enhancing mutations for CHMO. The selection employs growth for the easy readout of CHMO activity in vivo, by requiring nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-consuming enzymes to restore cellular redox balance. In the presence of the native substrate cyclohexanone, variant CHMO GV (A245G-A288V) was discovered from a random mutagenesis library screened at 42 °C. This variant retained native activity, exhibited ~4.4-fold improvement in residual activity after 30 °C incubation, and demonstrated ~5-fold higher cyclohexanone conversion at 37 °C compared to the wild type. Molecular modeling indicates that CHMO GV experiences more favorable residue packing and supports additional backbone hydrogen bonding. Further rational design resulted in CHMO A245G-A288V-T415C with improved thermostability at 45 °C. Our platform for oxygenase evolution enabled the rapid engineering of protein stability critical for industrial scalability. 
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  3. null (Ed.)