[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Enzymes that degrade or modify polysaccharides are widespread in pro- and eukaryotes and have multiple biological roles and biotechnological applications. Recent advances in genome and secretome sequencing, together with associated bioinformatic tools, have enabled large numbers of carbohydrate-acting enzymes to be putatively identified. However, there is a paucity of methods for rapidly screening the biochemical activities of these enzymes, and this is a serious bottleneck in the development of enzyme-reliant bio-refining processes.
We have developed a new generation of multi-coloured chromogenic polysaccharide and protein substrates that can be used in cheap, convenient and high-throughput multiplexed assays. In addition, we have produced substrates of biomass materials in which the complexity of plant cell walls is partially maintained.
We show that these substrates can be used to screen the activities of glycosyl hydrolases, lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases and proteases and provide insight into substrate availability within biomass. We envisage that the assays we have developed will be used primarily for first-level screening of large numbers of putative carbohydrate-acting enzymes, and the assays have the potential to be incorporated into fully or semi-automated robotic enzyme screening systems.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13068-015-0250-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Biotechnology for Biofuels 12/2015; 8(1). DOI:10.1186/s13068-015-0250-y · 6.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Given their safe use in humans and inherent adjuvanticity, Lactic Acid Bacteria may offer several advantages over other mucosal delivery strategies for cancer vaccines. The objective of this study is to evaluate the immune responses in mice after oral immunization with Lactobacillus (L) plantarum WCFS1 expressing a cell-wall anchored tumour antigen NY-ESO-1. And to investigate the immunostimulatory potency of this new candidate vaccine on human dendritic cells (DCs). L. plantarum displaying NY-ESO-1 induced NY-ESO-1 specific antibodies and T-cell responses in mice. By contrast, L. plantarum displaying either heat shock protein-27 or galectin-1, two conserved proteins, did not induce immunity, suggesting that immune tolerance to self-proteins cannot be broken by oral administration of L. plantarum. With respect to immunomodulation, immature DCs incubated with wild type or L. plantarum-NY-ESO-1 upregulated the expression of co-stimulatory molecules and secreted a large amount of interleukin (IL)-12, TNF-α, but not IL-4. Moreover, they upregulated the expression of immunosuppressive factors such as IL-10 and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase. Although L. plantarum-matured DCs expressed inhibitory molecules, they stimulated allogeneic T cells in-vitro. Collectively, the data indicate that L. plantarum-NY-ESO-1 can evoke antigen-specific immunity upon oral administration and induce DC maturation, raising the potential of its use in cancer immunotherapies.
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics 07/2015; DOI:10.1080/21645515.2015.1056952 · 2.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous gene-centric analysis of a cow rumen metagenome revealed the first potentially cellulolytic polysaccharide utilization locus, of which the main catalytic enzyme (AC2aCel5A) was identified as a glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 5 endo-cellulase. Here we present the 1.8 Å three-dimensional structure of AC2aCel5A, and characterization of its enzymatic activities. The enzyme possesses the archetypical (β/α) 8-barrel found throughout the GH5 family, and contains the two strictly conserved catalytic glutamates located at the C-terminal ends of β-strands 4 and 7. The enzyme is active on insoluble cellulose and acts exclusively on linear β-(1,4)-linked glucans. Co-crystallization of a catalytically inactive mutant with substrate yielded a 2.4 Å structure showing cellotriose bound in the −3 to −1 subsites. Additional electron density was observed between Trp178 and Trp254, two residues that form a hydrophobic " clamp " , potentially interacting with sugars at the +1 and +2 subsites. The enzyme's active-site cleft was narrower compared to the closest structural relatives, which in contrast to AC2aCel5A, are also active on xylans, mannans and/or xyloglucans. Interestingly, the structure and function of this enzyme seem adapted to less-substituted substrates such as cellulose, presumably due to the insufficient space to accommodate the side-chains of branched glucans in the active-site cleft.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are promising vehicles for delivery of a variety of medicinal compounds, including antigens and cytokines. It has also been established that LAB are able to deliver cDNA to host cells. To increase the efficiency of LAB-driven DNA delivery we have constructed Lactobacillus plantarum strains targeting DEC-205, which is a receptor located at the surface of dendritic cells (DCs). The purpose was to increase uptake of bacterial cells, which could lead to improved cDNA delivery to immune cells.
Anti-DEC-205 antibody (aDec) was displayed at the surface of L. plantarum using three different anchoring strategies: (1) covalent anchoring of aDec to the cell membrane (Lipobox domain, Lip); (2) covalent anchoring to the cell wall (LPXTG domain, CWA); (3) non-covalent anchoring to the cell wall (LysM domain, LysM). aDec was successfully expressed in all three strains, but surface location of the antibody could only be demonstrated for the two strains with cell wall anchors (CWA and LysM). Co-incubation of the engineered strains and DCs showed increased uptake when anchoring aDec using the CWA or LysM anchors. In a competition assay, free anti-DEC abolished the increased uptake, showing that the internalization is due to specific interactions between the DEC-205 receptor and aDec. To test plasmid transfer, a plasmid for expression of GFP under control of an eukaryotic promoter was transformed into the aDec expressing strains and GFP expression in DCs was indeed increased when using the strains producing cell-wall anchored aDec. Plasmid transfer to DCs in the gastro intestinal tract was also detected using a mouse model. Surprisingly, in mice the highest expression of GFP was observed for the strain in which aDec was coupled to the cell membrane.
The results show that surface expression of aDec leads to increased internalization of L. plantarum and plasmid transfer in DCs and that efficiency depends on the type of anchor used. Interestingly, in vitro data indicates that cell wall anchoring is more effective, whereas in vivo data seem to indicate that anchoring to the cell membrane is preferable. It is likely that the more embedded localization of aDec in the latter case is favorable when cells are exposed to the harsh conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new biogas process is initiated by adding a microbial community, typically in the form of a sample collected from a functional biogas plant. This inoculum has considerable impact on the initial performance of a biogas reactor, affecting parameters such as stability, biogas production yields and the overall efficiency of the anaerobic digestion process. In this study, we have analyzed changes in the microbial composition and performance of an inoculum during storage using barcoded pyrosequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, and determination of the biomethane potential, respectively. The inoculum was stored at room temperature, 4 and -20 °C for up to 11 months and cellulose was used as a standard substrate to test the biomethane potential. Storage up to 1 month resulted in similar final methane yields, but the rate of methane production was reduced by storage at -20 °C. Longer storage times resulted in reduced methane yields and slower production kinetics for all storage conditions, with room temperature and frozen samples consistently giving the best and worst performance, respectively. Both storage time and temperature affected the microbial community composition and methanogenic activity. In particular, fluctuations in the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes were observed. Interestingly, a shift from hydrogenotrophic methanogens to methanogens with the capacity to perform acetoclastic methanogensis was observed upon prolonged storage. In conclusion, this study suggests that biogas inocula may be stored up to 1 month with low loss of methanogenic activity, and identifies bacterial and archaeal species that are affected by the storage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enterococcus faecalis is a robust bacterium, which is able to survive in and adapt to hostile environments such as the urinary tract and bladder. In this label-free quantitative proteomic study based on MaxQuant LFQ algorithms, we identified 127 proteins present in the secretome of the clinical vancomycin-resistant isolate E. faecalis V583 and we compared proteins secreted in the initial phase of cultivation in urine with the secretome during cultivation in standard laboratory medium, 2xYT. Of the 54 identified proteins predicted to be secreted, six were exclusively found after cultivation in urine including the virulence factor EfaA ("endocarditis specific antigen") and its homologue EF0577 ("adhesion lipoprotein"). These two proteins are both involved in manganese transport, known to be an important determinant of colonization and infection, and may additionally function as adhesins. Other detected urine-specific proteins are involved in peptide transport (EF0063 and EF3106) and protease inhibition (EF3054). In addition, we found an uncharacterized protein (EF0764), which had not previously been linked to the adaptation of V583 to a urine environment, and which is unique to E. faecalis. Proteins found in both environments included a histone-like protein, EF1550, that was up-regulated during cultivation in urine and that has a homologue in streptococci (HlpA) known to be involved in bacterial adhesion to host cells. Up-regulated secreted proteins included autolysins. These results from secretome analyses are largely compatible with previously published data from transcriptomics studies. All in all, the present data indicate that transport, in particular metal transport, adhesion, cell wall remodelling and the unknown function carried out by the unique EF0764 are important for enterococcal adaptation to the urine environment. These results provide a basis for a more targeted exploration of novel proteins involved in the adaptability and pathogenicity of E. faecalis.
PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0126694. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0126694 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the ABC transporter systems in E. faecalis V583 is encoded by the ef0176-ef0180 gene cluster, which differs from orthologous operons in related bacteria in that it contains two genes putatively encoding substrate-binding proteins (SBPs). These SBPs, EF0176 and EF0177, have previously been identified on the surface of E. faecalis. By phenotypic studies of single and double knock-out mutants we show here that EF0176 and EF0177 are specific for ribonucleosides and, by inference, that the EF0176-EF0180 ABC transporter plays a role in nucleoside uptake. The specificity of the SBPs was mapped using growth experiments on a medium, RPMI-1640, that only supports growth of E. faecalis when supplemented with purine nucleosides or their corresponding bases. This analysis was complemented by studies with toxic fluorinated pyrimidine ribonucleoside analogues and competition experiments. The data show that EF0176 and EF0177 have broad, overlapping, but not identical substrate specificities and that they, together, are likely to bind and facilitate the transport of all common ribonucleosides. Comparative sequence analysis and inspection of an available crystal structure of an orthologue, PnrA from Treponema pallidum, showed that the strongest binding interactions between the protein and the ligand involve the ribose moiety and that sequence variation in the binding site primarily affects interactions with the base. This explains both the broad substrate specificity of these binding proteins and the observed variations therein. The presence of two SBPs in this nucleoside ABC transporter system in E. faecalis may improve the bacterium's ability to scavenge nucleosides.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) have received considerable attention after their discovery in 2010 due to their ability to boost the enzymatic conversion of recalcitrant polysaccharides. Here, we describe the enzymatic properties of SgLPMO10F, a small (15 kDa) auxilliary activity family 10 (AA10) LPMO from Streptomyces griseus belonging to a clade of the phylogenetic tree without any characterized representative. The protein was expressed using a Brevibacillus-based expression system that had not been used previously for LPMO expression and that ensures correct processing of the N-terminus that is crucial for LPMO activity. The enzyme was active towards both α- and β-chitin and showed stronger binding and more release of soluble oxidized products for the latter allomorph. In chitinase synergy assays, however, SgLPMO10F worked slightly better for α-chitin, increasing chitin solubilization yields up to ~30-fold and ~20-fold for α- and β-chitin, respectively. Synergy experiments with various chitinases showed that addition of SgLPMO10F leads to a substantial increase in the (GlcNAc)2 :GlcNAc product ratio, in reactions with α-chitin only. This underpins the structural differences between the substrates and also shows that, on α-chitin, SgLPMO10F affects the binding mode and/or degree of processivity of the chitinases tested. Variation in the only exposed aromatic residue in the substrate-binding surface of LPMO10s has previously been linked to preferential binding for α-chitin (exposed Trp) or β-chitin (exposed Tyr). Mutation of this residue, Tyr56, in SgLPMO10F to Trp had no detectable effect on substrate binding preferences, but in synergy experiments the mutant seemed more efficient on α-chitin. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent metagenomic analyses have identified uncultured bacteria that are abundant in the rumen of herbivores and which possess putative biomass-converting enzyme systems. Here we investigate the saccharolytic capabilities of a Polysaccharide Utilization Locus (PUL) that has been reconstructed from an uncultured Bacteroidetes phylotype (SRM-1) that dominates the rumen microbiome of Arctic reindeer. Characterization of the three PUL-encoded outer membrane glycoside hydrolases was performed using chromogenic substrates for initial screening, followed by detailed analyses of products generated from selected substrates, using high-pressure anion-exchange chromatography with electrochemical detection. Two GH5 endoglucanases (GH5_g and GH5_h) demonstrated activity against β-glucans, xylans and xyloglucan, whereas GH5_h and the third enzyme, GH26_i, were active on several mannan substrates. Synergy experiments examining different combinations of the three enzymes demonstrated limited activity enhancement on individual substrates. Binding analysis of a SusE-positioned lipoprotein revealed an affinity towards β-glucans and, to a lesser extent mannan, but unlike the two SusD-like lipoproteins previously characterised from the same PUL, binding to cellulose was not observed. Overall, these activities and binding specificities correlated well with the glycan content of the reindeer rumen which was determined using comprehensive microarray polymer profiling and showed abundance of various hemicellulose glycans. The substrate versatility of this single PUL putatively expands our perceptions regarding PUL machineries, which so far have demonstrated a "one cognate PUL for each substrate" type of gene organization. The presence of a PUL that possesses saccharolytic activity against a mixture of abundantly available polysaccharides supports SRM-1 dominance in the Svalbard reindeer rumen microbiome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The chitin-active 19.2 kDa lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase BlLPMO10A from Bacillus licheniformis has been isotopically labeled and recombinantly expressed. In this paper, we report the (1)H, (13)C, (15)N resonance assignment of BlLPMO10A.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microbial community profiles in two parallel CSTR biogas reactors fed with whey permeate and cow manure were investigated. The operating conditions for these two reactors were identical, yet only one of them (R1) showed stable performance, whereas the other (R2) showed a decrease in methane production accompanied by accumulation of propionic acid and, later, acetic acid. This gave a unique opportunity to study the dynamics of the microbial communities in two biogas reactors apparently operating close to the edge of stability. The microbial community was dominated by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, and the methanogens Methanobacteriales and Methanomicrobiales in both reactors, but with larger fluctuations in R2. Correlation analyses showed that the depletion of propionic acid in R1 and the late increase of acetic acid in R2 was related to several bacterial groups. The biogas production in R1 shows that stable co-digestion of manure and whey can be achieved with reasonable yields.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The discovery of the copper-dependent lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) has revealed new territory for chemical and biochemical analysis. These unique mononuclear copper enzymes are abundant, suggesting functional diversity beyond their established roles in the depolymerization of biomass polysaccharides. At the same time basic biochemical methods for characterizing LPMOs, such as activity assays are not well developed. Here we describe a method for quantification of C1-oxidized chitooligosaccharides (aldonic acids), and hence LPMO activity. The method was used to quantify the activity of a four-domain LPMO from Vibriocholerae, GbpA, which is a virulence factor with no obvious role in biomass processing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chitin degradation ability is known for many aquatic and terrestrial bacterial species. However, differences in the composition of chitin resources between aquatic (mainly exoskeletons of crustaceans) and terrestrial (mainly fungal cell walls) habitats may have resulted in adaptation of chitinolytic enzyme systems to the prevalent resources. We screened publicly available terrestrial and aquatic chitinase-containing bacterial genomes for possible differences in the composition of their chitinolytic enzyme systems. The results show significant differences between terrestrial and aquatic bacterial genomes in the modular composition of chitinases (i.e. presence of different types of carbohydrate binding modules). Terrestrial Actinobacteria appear to be best adapted to use a wide variety of chitin resources as they have the highest number of chitinase genes, the highest diversity of associated carbohydrate binding modules and the highest number of CBM33-type lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases. Actinobacteria do also have the highest fraction of genomes containing β -1, 3-glucanases, enzymes that may reinforce the potential for degrading fungal cell walls. The fraction of bacterial chitinase-containing genomes encoding polyketide synthases was much higher for terrestrial bacteria than for aquatic ones supporting the idea that the combined production of antibiotics and cell-wall degrading chitinases can be an important strategy in antagonistic interactions with fungi.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reaching a comprehensive understanding of how nature solves the problem of degrading recalcitrant biomass may eventually allow development of more efficient biorefining processes. Here we interpret genomic and proteomic information generated from a cellulolytic microbial consortium (termed F1RT) enriched from soil. Analyses of reconstructed bacterial draft genomes from all seven uncultured phylotypes in F1RT indicate that its constituent microbes cooperate in both cellulose-degrading and other important metabolic processes. Support for cellulolytic inter-species cooperation came from the discovery of F1RT microbes that encode and express complimentary enzymatic inventories that include both extracellular cellulosomes and secreted free-enzyme systems. Metabolic reconstruction of the seven F1RT phylotypes predicted a wider genomic rationale as to how this particular community functions as well as possible reasons as to why biomass conversion in nature relies on a structured and cooperative microbial community.