Paul A Dalby

University College London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (64)206.76 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We have analysed the natural evolution of transaminase structure and sequence between an α-transaminase serine-pyruvate aminotransferase, and an ω-transaminase from Chromobacterium violaceum with <20% sequence identity, and identified the active-site regions which are least conserved structurally. We also show that these structural changes correlate strongly with transaminase substrate specificity during evolution and therefore might normally be presumed to be essential determinants of substrate specificity. However, key residues are often conserved spatially during evolution and yet come from within a different region of the sequence via structural reorganisations. Here we also show that α-transaminase-type serine-pyruvate aminotransferase activity, can be engineered into the CV2025 ω-transaminase scaffold with any one of many possible single point mutations at three key positions, without the requirement for significant backbone remodeling, or repositioning of the residue from a different region of sequence. This finding has significant implications for enzyme redesign in which solutions to substrate specificity changes may be found that are significantly more efficient than by engineering in all sequence and structure determinants identified by correlation to substrate specificity.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    FEBS Journal 04/2015; 282(13). DOI:10.1111/febs.13293 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human IgG1 antibody subclass shows distinct properties compared to the IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4 subclasses, and is the most exploited subclass in therapeutic antibodies. It is the most abundant subclass, has a half-life as long as that of IgG2 and IgG4, binds the FcγR receptor, and activates complement. There is limited structural information on full-length human IgG1 because of the challenges of crystallisation. To rectify this, we have studied the solution structures of two human IgG1 6a and 19a monoclonal antibodies in different buffers at different temperatures. Analytical ultracentrifugation showed that both antibodies were predominantly monomeric, with sedimentation coefficients s020,w of 6.3 S - 6.4 S. Only a minor dimer peak was observed, and the amount was not dependent on buffer conditions. Solution scattering showed that the X-ray radius of gyration Rg increased with salt concentration, while the neutron Rg values remained unchanged with temperature. The X ray and neutron distance distribution curves P(r) revealed two peaks, M1 and M2, whose positions were unchanged in different buffers to indicate conformational stability. Constrained atomistic scattering modelling revealed predominantly asymmetric solution structures for both antibodies with extended hinge structures. Both structures were similar to the only known crystal structure of full-length human IgG1. The Fab conformations in both structures were suitably positioned to permit the Fc region to bind readily to its FcγR and C1q ligands without steric clashes, unlike human IgG4. Our molecular models for human IgG1 explain its immune activities, and we discuss its stability and function for therapeutic applications. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2015; 290(13). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.631002 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transketolase has significant industrial potential for the asymmetric synthesis of carboncarbon bonds with new chiral centres. Variants evolved on propanal were found previously with nascent activity on polar aromatic aldehydes 3-formylbenzoic acid (3-FBA), 4-formylbenzoic acid (4-FBA), and 3-hydroxybenzaldehyde (3-HBA), suggesting a potential novel route to analogues of chloramphenicol. Here we evolved improved transketolase activities towards aromatic aldehydes, by saturation mutagenesis of two active-site residues (R358 and S385), predicted to interact with the aromatic substituents. S385 variants selectively controlled the aromatic substrate preference, with up to 13-fold enhanced activities, and KM values comparable to those of natural substrates with wild-type transketolase. S385E even completely removed the substrate inhibition for 3-FBA, observed in all previous variants. The mechanisms of catalytic improvement were both mutation type and substrate dependent. S385E improved 3-FBA activity via kcat, but reduced 4-FBA activity via KM. Conversely, S385Y/T improved 3-FBA activity via KM and 4-FBA activity via kcat. This suggested that both substrate proximity and active-site orientation are very sensitive to mutation. Comparison of all variant activities on each substrate indicated different binding modes for the three aromatic substrates, supported by computational docking. This highlights a potential divergence in the evolution of different substrate specificities, with implications for enzyme engineering. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Enzyme and Microbial Technology 01/2015; 71. DOI:10.1016/j.enzmictec.2015.01.008 · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Advances in synthetic biology are facilitating the de novo design of complex, multi-step enzymatic conversions for industrial organic synthesis. This work describes the integration of multi-step enzymatic pathway construction with enzyme kinetics and bioreactor modelling, in order to optimise the synthesis of chiral amino-alcohols using engineered Escherichia coli transketolases (TK) and the Chromobacterium violaceum transaminase (TAm). The specific target products were (2S,3S)-2-aminopentane-1,3-diol (APD) and (2S,3R)-2-amino-1,3,4-butanetriol (ABT). Kinetic models and parameters for each of the enzymatic steps were first obtained using automated microwell experiments. These identified the TK-catalysed conversions as being up to 25 times faster than the subsequent TAm conversions and inhibition of TAm by the amino-donor used, (S)-(−)-α-methylbenzylamine (MBA), as limiting the overall conversion yields. In order to better ‘match’ the relative rates of the two enzymes an E. coli expression system, based on two compatible plasmids, was constructed to produce both enzymes in a single host. By control of induction time and temperature it was possible to produce six times more recombinant TAm than TK to help balance the reaction rates. To overcome MBA inhibition and an unfavourable reaction equilibrium, fed-batch addition of the amino-donor was introduced as well as the use of isopropylamine as an alternate amino-donor. Adopting these strategies, and using the kinetic models to optimise feeding strategies, the one pot syntheses of APD and ABT were successfully scaled-up to preparative scales. Excellent agreement was found between the kinetic profiles and yields predicted and those achieved experimentally at the larger scale. In this case the integration of these multi-disciplinary approaches enabled us to achieve up to a 6 fold greater yield using concentrations an order of magnitude higher than in previous preparative scale batch bioconversions carried out sequentially.
    Chemical Engineering Science 01/2015; 122. DOI:10.1016/j.ces.2014.09.046 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    C. J. Du · L. Rios-Solis · J. M. Ward · P. A. Dalby · G. J. Lye
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    ABSTRACT: Lignin is an essential component of the cell wall of various plants and represents an abundant and renewable natural resource. Both thermo-chemical and biological pre-treatment can be applied to break down the phenylpropanoid polymer subunits present in lignin. These liberate a range of phenolic compounds which represent potential substrates for bioconversion by ω-transaminases. In this work, the CV2025 ω-transaminase (ω-TAm) from Chromobacterium violaceum DSM30191, heterologously expressed in E. coli, was explored for selective amination of lignin breakdown intermediates into value-added products. Eight potential ω-TAm substrates were initially screened using (S)-α-methylbenzylamine (MBA) as the amino donor. Vanillin was identified as the best potential substrate which is converted into vanillylamine; an intermediate in the preparation of pelargonic acid vanillylamide used as a hyperemia inducing active substance in wound dressings. At low vanillin and MBA concentrations (< 10 mM) and with an excess of the amine donor (1:4 mol/mol) 100% w/w conversion of vanillin into vanillylamine was observed within 25 min. At vanillin concentrations above 10 mM, substrate inhibition was observed decreasing the rate and yield of the bioconversion. High concentrations of the reaction product (vanillylamine) and by-product (acetophenone) also limited the conversion due to increased backward reaction rate and inhibition. Vanillylamine synthesis could be carried out by both whole cell and clarified lysate forms of the CV2025 ω-TAm while fed-batch bioconversions (feeding low concentrations of both vanillin and MBA) could help overcome substrate inhibition and double the final product concentrations obtained. These results demonstrate the potential for bioconversion of lignin breakdown products into value-added chemicals but illustrate the need for enzymes with improved substrate range and implementation of techniques to overcome product inhibition and equilibrium constraints.
    Biocatalysis and Biotransformation 12/2014; 32(5-6). DOI:10.3109/10242422.2014.976632 · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Effective application of whole-cell devices in synthetic biology and biocatalysis will always require consideration of the uptake of molecules of interest into the cell. Here we demonstrate that the AlkL protein from Pseudomonas putida GPo1 is an alkane import protein capable of industrially relevant rates of uptake of C7-C16 n-alkanes. Without alkL expression, native E.coli n-alkane uptake was the rate-limiting step in both the whole-cell bioconversion of C7-C16 n-alkanes and in the activation of a whole-cell alkane biosensor by C10 and C11 alkanes. By coexpression of alkL as a transporter plug-in, specific yields improved by up to 100-fold for bioxidation of >C12 alkanes to fatty alcohols and acids. The alkL protein was shown to be toxic to the host when overexpressed but when expressed from a vector capable of controlled induction, yields of alkane oxidation were improved a further 10-fold (8 g/L and 1.7 g/g of total oxidized products). Further testing of activity on n-octane with the controlled expression vector revealed the highest reported rates of 120 μmol/min/g and 1 g/L/h total oxidized products. This is the first time AlkL has been shown to directly facilitate enhanced uptake of C10-C16 alkanes and represents the highest reported gain in product yields resulting from its use.
    Scientific Reports 07/2014; 4:5844. DOI:10.1038/srep05844 · 5.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human IgG4 antibody shows therapeutically useful properties compared with the IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 subclasses. Thus IgG4 does not activate complement and shows conformational variability. These properties are attributable to its hinge region, which is the shortest of the four IgG subclasses. Using high throughput scattering methods, we studied the solution structure of wild-type IgG4(Ser222) and a hinge mutant IgG4(Pro222) in different buffers and temperatures where the proline substitution suppresses the formation of half-antibody. Analytical ultracentrifugation showed that both IgG4 forms were principally monomeric with sedimentation coefficients s20,w0 of 6.6–6.8 S. A monomer-dimer equilibrium was observed in heavy water buffer at low temperature. Scattering showed that the x-ray radius of gyration Rg was unchanged with concentration in 50–250 mm NaCl buffers, whereas the neutron Rg values showed a concentration-dependent increase as the temperature decreased in heavy water buffers. The distance distribution curves (P(r)) revealed two peaks, M1 and M2, that shifted below 2 mg/ml to indicate concentration-dependent IgG4 structures in addition to IgG4 dimer formation at high concentration in heavy water. Constrained x-ray and neutron scattering modeling revealed asymmetric solution structures for IgG4(Ser222) with extended hinge structures. The IgG4(Pro222) structure was similar. Both IgG4 structures showed that their Fab regions were positioned close enough to the Fc region to restrict C1q binding. Our new molecular models for IgG4 explain its inability to activate complement and clarify aspects of its stability and function for therapeutic applications.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2014; 289(30). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.572404 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proteins are the most vital biological functional units in every living cell. Measurement of protein stability is central to understanding their structure, function and role in diseases. While proteins are also sought as therapeutic agents, they can cause diseases by misfolding and aggregation in vivo. Here we demonstrate a novel method to measure protein stability and denaturation kinetics, on unprecedented timescales, through optically-induced heating of nanolitre samples in microfluidic capillaries. We obtain protein denaturation kinetics as a function of temperature, and accurate thermodynamic stability data, from a snapshot experiment on a single sample. We also report the first experimental characterization of optical heating in controlled microcapillary flow, verified by computational fluid dynamics modelling. Our results demonstrate that we now have the engineering science in hand to design integrated all-optical microfluidic chips for a diverse range of applications including in-vitro DNA amplification, healthcare diagnostics, and flow chemistry.
    Scientific Reports 07/2013; 3:2130. DOI:10.1038/srep02130 · 5.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Solution structures for antibodies are critical to understand function and therapeutic applications. The stability of the solution structure of rabbit IgG in different buffers and temperatures was determined by analytical ultracentrifugationand X-ray and neutron scattering. Rabbit IgG showed a principally monomeric species which is well resolved from small amounts of a dimeric species. The proportion of dimer increased with increased concentration, decreased temperatureand heavy water from 8% to 25% in all buffers except for high salt (250 mM NaCl). The Guinier X-ray radius of gyration R(G)likewise increased with concentration in 137 mM NaCl buffer, but was unchanged in 250 mM NaCl buffer.The Guinier neutron R(G)valuesincreased as the temperature decreased. The X-ray and neutron distance distribution curves P(r) revealed two peaks, M1 and M2whose positions did not change with concentration to indicate unchanged structures in all these conditions. The maximum dimension increased with concentration because of dimer formation. Constrained scattering modelling reproducibly revealed very similar asymmetric solution structures for monomeric rabbit IgG in different buffers, in which the Fab-Fc and Fab-Fab pairswere separated by maximally-extended hinge structures. The dimer was best modelled by two pairs of Fab regions forming tip-to-tip contacts. The intact rabbit IgG structuresexplained the ability of its two ligands, the Fc receptor and complement C1q, to bind to the top of its Fc region which is fully accessible and unhindered by the Fab regions.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 11/2012; 425(3). DOI:10.1016/j.jmb.2012.11.019 · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The uses of 3-formylbenzoic acid and 4-formylbenzoic acid as molecular probes along with previous and new transketolase mutants revealed the factors governing the rate of reaction between transketolase and aromatic aldehydes. The novel α,α-dihydroxyketones were produced at 15 to 30-fold higher yields and up to 250-fold higher specific activities with D469T TK when compared to those obtained for benzaldehyde.
    Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 10/2012; 10(45). DOI:10.1039/c2ob25751c · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model for the optimal synthesis of chromatographic protein purification processes including the time line in which our target protein product is collected. The model is linearised using piecewise linear approximation strategies and tested on three example protein mixtures, containing up to 13 contaminants and selecting from a set of up to 21 candidate steps. The results are also compared with previous literature models attempting to solve the same problem and show that the proposed approach offers significant gains in computational efficiency without compromising the quality of the solution.
    Chemical Engineering Research and Design 09/2012; 90(9):1262–1270. DOI:10.1016/j.cherd.2011.11.021 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein purification through chromatographic processes has been broadly used in the biopharmaceutical industry over the last decades, but still remains a major bottleneck. In this work, we address the challenge of selecting appropriate chromatographic steps, along with product collecting timeline for separating the target protein from the contaminants in a multicomponent mixture. A novel mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model for purification process synthesis is proposed. The model allows product losses and is tested on three example protein mixtures, containing up to 13 contaminants and selecting from a set of up to 21 candidate steps. The results are compared with previous literature models attempting to solve the same problem and show that the proposed approach offers significant gains in computational efficiency without compromising the quality of the solution.
    Biochemical Engineering Journal 08/2012; 67:186–193. DOI:10.1016/j.bej.2012.06.012 · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The refolding of protein derived from inclusion bodies is often characterized by low yields of active protein. The optimization of the refolding step is achieved empirically and consequently is time-consuming slowing process development. An automated robotic platform has been used to develop a dilution refold process-screening platform upon which a hierarchical set of assays rapidly determine optimal refolding conditions at the microscale. This hierarchy allows the simplest, cheapest, and most generic high-throughput assays to first screen for a smaller subset of potentially high-yielding conditions to take forward for analysis by slower, more expensive, or protein specific assays, thus saving resources whilst maximizing information output. An absorbance assay was used to initially screen out aggregating conditions, followed by an intrinsic fluorescence assay of the soluble protein to identify the presence of native-like tertiary structure, which was then confirmed by an activity assay. Results show that fluorescence can be used in conjunction with absorbance to eliminate low-yielding conditions, leaving a significantly reduced set of conditions from which the highest yielding ones can then be identified with slower and often more costly activity or RP-HPLC assays, thus reducing bottlenecks in high-throughput analysis. The microwell-based automated process sequence with generic hierarchical assays was also used to study and minimize the effect on redox potential or misfolding, of oxygenation due to agitation, before demonstrating that the platform can be used to rapidly collect data and evaluate different refolding conditions to speed up the acquisition of process development data in a resource efficient manner.
    Biotechnology Progress 03/2012; 28(2):435-44. DOI:10.1002/btpr.1502 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The lyophilization of proteins in microplates, to assess and optimise formulations rapidly, has been applied for the first time to a therapeutic protein and, in particular, one that requires a cell-based biological assay, in order to demonstrate the broader usefulness of the approach. Factorial design of experiment methods were combined with lyophilization in microplates to identify optimum formulations that stabilised granulocyte colony-stimulating factor during freeze drying. An initial screen rapidly identified key excipients and potential interactions, which was then followed by a central composite face designed optimisation experiment. Human serum albumin and Tween 20 had significant effects on maintaining protein stability. As previously, the optimum formulation was then freeze-dried in stoppered vials to verify that the microscale data is relevant to pilot scales. However, to validate the approach further, the selected formulation was also assessed for solid-state shelf-life through the use of accelerated stability studies. This approach allows for a high-throughput assessment of excipient options early on in product development, while also reducing costs in terms of time and quantity of materials required.
    Biotechnology Letters 12/2011; 34(4):641-8. DOI:10.1007/s10529-011-0822-2 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously used targeted active-site saturation mutagenesis to identify a number of transketolase single mutants that improved activity towards either glycolaldehyde (GA), or the non-natural substrate propionaldehyde (PA). Here, all attempts to recombine the singles into double mutants led to unexpected losses of specific activity towards both substrates. A typical trade-off occurred between soluble expression levels and specific activity for all single mutants, but many double mutants decreased both properties more severely suggesting a critical loss of protein stability or native folding. Statistical coupling analysis (SCA) of a large multiple sequence alignment revealed a network of nine co-evolved residues that affected all but one double mutant. Such networks maintain important functional properties such as activity, specificity, folding, stability, and solubility and may be rapidly disrupted by introducing one or more non-naturally occurring mutations. To identify variants of this network that would accept and improve upon our best D469 mutants for activity towards PA, we created a library of random single, double and triple mutants across seven of the co-evolved residues, combining our D469 variants with only naturally occurring mutations at the remaining sites. A triple mutant cluster at D469, E498 and R520 was found to behave synergistically for the specific activity towards PA. Protein expression was severely reduced by E498D and improved by R520Q, yet variants containing both mutations led to improved specific activity and enzyme expression, but with loss of solubility and the formation of inclusion bodies. D469S and R520Q combined synergistically to improve k(cat) 20-fold for PA, more than for any previous transketolase mutant. R520Q also doubled the specific activity of the previously identified D469T to create our most active transketolase mutant to date. Our results show that recombining active-site mutants obtained by saturation mutagenesis can rapidly destabilise critical networks of co-evolved residues, whereas beneficial single mutants can be retained and improved upon by randomly recombining them with natural variants at other positions in the network.
    Journal of Biotechnology 11/2011; 157(1):237-45. DOI:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2011.11.017 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Downstream bioprocessing and especially chromatographic steps, commonly used for the purification of multicomponent systems, are significant cost drivers in the production of therapeutic proteins. There has been an increased interest in the development of systematic methods for the design of such processes, and the appropriate selection of a series of chromatographic steps is still a major challenge to be addressed. Several models have been developed previously but have assumed that 100% recovery of the desired product is obtained at each chromatographic step. In this work, a mathematical framework is proposed, based on mixed integer optimisation techniques, that removes this assumption and allows full flexibility on the position of retention time cut-points, between which the desired product fraction is collected. The proposed model is demonstrated on three example protein mixtures, each containing up to 13 contaminants and selecting from a set of up to 21 candidate steps. The proposed model results in a reduction of one to three chromatographic steps over solutions that no losses are allowed.
    Biotechnology Progress 11/2011; 27(6):1653-60. DOI:10.1002/btpr.670 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract This work describes an experimental ‘toolbox’ for the rapid evaluation and optimisation of multi-step enzymatic syntheses comprising a ‘mix and match’ E. coli-based expression system and automated microwell scale experimentation. The approach is illustrated with a de novo designed pathway for the synthesis of optically pure amino alcohols using the enzymes transketolase (TK) and transaminase (TAm) to catalyze asymmetric carbon-carbon bond formation and selective chiral amine group addition respectively. The E. coli expression system, based on two compatible plasmids, enables pairs of enzymes from previously engineered and cloned TK and TAm libraries to be evaluated for the sequential conversion of different initial substrates. This is complemented by the microwell experimentation which enables efficient investigation of different biocatalyst forms, use of different amine donors and substrate feeding strategies. Using this experimental ‘toolbox’, one-pot syntheses of the diastereoisomers (2S,3S)-2-aminopentane-1,3-diol (APD) and (2S,3R)-2-amino-1,3,4-butanetriol (ABT) were designed and performed, which gave final product yields of 90% mol/mol for APD and 87% mol/mol for ABT (relative to the initial TK substrates) within 25 hours. For the synthesis of APD, the E coli TK mutant D469E was paired with the TAm from Chromobacterium violaceum 2025 while for ABT synthesis the wild-type E. coli TK exhibited the highest specific activity and ee( enantiomeric excess) of >95%. For both reactions, whole-cell forms of the TK-TAm biocatalyst performed better than cell lysates while isopropylamine (IPA) was a preferable amine donor than methylbenzylamine (MBA) since side reactions with the initial TK substrates were avoided. The available libraries of TK and TAm enzymes and scalable nature of the microwell data suggest this ‘toolbox’ provides an efficient approach to early stage bioconversion process design in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors.
    Biocatalysis and Biotransformation 09/2011; 29(5):192-203. DOI:10.3109/10242422.2011.609589 · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Enzymes from extreme environments possess highly desirable traits of activity and stability for application under process conditions. One such example is l-aminoacylase (E.C. 3.5.1.14) from Thermococcus litoralis (TliACY), which catalyzes the enantioselective amide hydrolysis of N-protected l-amino acids, useful for resolving racemic mixtures in the preparation of chiral intermediates. Variants of this enzyme with improved activity and altered substrate preference are highly desirable. We have created a structural homology model of the enzyme and applied various two different directed evolution strategies to identify improved variants. Mutants P237S and F251Y were 2.4-fold more active towards N-benzoyl valine relative to the wild type at 65°C. F251 mutations to basic residues resulted in 4.5-11-fold shifts in the substrate preference towards N-benzoyl phenylalanine relative to N-benzoyl valine. The substrate preference of wild type decreases with increasingly branched and sterically hindered substrates. However, the mutant S100T/M106K disrupted this simple trend by selectively improving the substrate preference for N-benzoyl valine, with a >30-fold shift in the ratio of k(cat) values for N-benzoyl valine and N-benzoyl phenylalanine. Mutations that favoured N-benzoyl-phenylalanine appeared at the active site entrance, whereas those improving activity towards N-benzoyl-valine occurred in the hinge region loops linking the dimerization and zinc-binding domains in each monomer. These observations support a previously proposed substrate induced conformational transition between open and closed forms of aminoacylases.
    Journal of Biotechnology 07/2011; 155(4):396-405. DOI:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2011.07.029 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that the denaturation of TK with urea follows a non-aggregating though irreversible denaturation pathway in which the cofactor binding appears to become altered but without dissociating, then followed at higher urea by partial denaturation of the homodimer prior to any further unfolding or dissociation of the two monomers. Urea is not typically present during biocatalysis, whereas access to TK enzymes that retain activity at increased temperature and extreme pH would be useful for operation under conditions that increase substrate and product stability or solubility. To provide further insight into the underlying causes of its deactivation in process conditions, we have characterised the effects of temperature and pH on the structure, stability, aggregation and activity of Escherichia coli transketolase. The activity of TK was initially found to progressively improve after pre-incubation at increasing temperatures. Loss of activity at higher temperature and low pH resulted primarily from protein denaturation and subsequent irreversible aggregation. By contrast, high pH resulted in the formation of a native-like state that was only partially inactive. The apo-TK enzyme structure content also increased at pH 9 to converge on that of the holo-TK. While cofactor dissociation was previously proposed for high pH deactivation, the observed structural changes in apo-TK but not holo-TK indicate a more complex mechanism.
    Journal of Biotechnology 06/2011; 155(2):209-16. DOI:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2011.06.023 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    Paul A Dalby
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    ABSTRACT: Directed evolution is widely used to improve enzymes, particularly for industrial biocatalytic processes. Molecular biology advances present many new strategies for directed evolution. Commonly used techniques have led to many successful examples of enzyme improvement, yet there is still a need to improve both the efficiency and capability of directed evolution. Recent strategies aimed at making directed evolution faster and more efficient take better advantage of available structural and sequence information. The underlying principles that lead to early dead-ends for directed evolution experiments are also discussed along with recent strategies designed to by-pass them. Several emerging methods for creating novel enzymes are also discussed including examples of catalytic activity for which there is no precedent in nature. Finally, the combined use of several strategies is likely to be required in practice to improve multiple target properties of an enzyme, as successfully shown by a recent industrial example.
    Current Opinion in Structural Biology 06/2011; 21(4):473-80. DOI:10.1016/j.sbi.2011.05.003 · 8.75 Impact Factor