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  1. Abstract Background Noncanonical redox cofactors are emerging as important tools in cell-free biosynthesis to increase the economic viability, to enable exquisite control, and to expand the range of chemistries accessible. However, these noncanonical redox cofactors need to be biologically synthesized to achieve full integration with renewable biomanufacturing processes. Results In this work, we engineered Escherichia coli cells to biosynthesize the noncanonical cofactor nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN + ), which has been efficiently used in cell-free biosynthesis. First, we developed a growth-based screening platform to identify effective NMN + biosynthetic pathways in E. coli . Second, we explored various pathway combinations and host gene disruption to achieve an intracellular level of ~ 1.5 mM NMN + , a 130-fold increase over the cell’s basal level, in the best strain, which features a previously uncharacterized nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NadV) from Ralstonia solanacearum. Last, we revealed mechanisms through which NMN + accumulation impacts E. coli cell fitness, which sheds light on future work aiming to improve the production of this noncanonical redox cofactor. Conclusion These results further the understanding of effective production and integration of NMN + into E. coli . This may enable the implementation of NMN + -directed biocatalysis without the need for exogenous cofactor supply.
  2. 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 formore »industrial scalability.« less