Pouya Javidpour

Joint BioEnergy Institute, Berkeley, California, United States

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Publications (4)17.23 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Major efforts in bioenergy research have focused on producing fuels that can directly replace petroleum-derived gasoline and diesel fuel through metabolic engineering of microbial fatty acid biosynthetic pathways. Typically, growth and pathway induction are conducted under aerobic conditions, but for operational efficiency in an industrial context, anaerobic culture conditions would be preferred to obviate the need to maintain specific dissolved oxygen concentrations and to maximize the proportion of reducing equivalents directed to biofuel biosynthesis rather than ATP production. A major concern with fermentative growth conditions is elevated NADH levels, which can adversely affect cell physiology. The purpose of this study was to identify homologs of Escherichia coli FabG, an essential reductase involved in fatty acid biosynthesis, that display a higher preference for NADH than for NADPH as a cofactor. Four potential NADH-dependent FabG variants were identified through bioinformatic analyses supported by crystallographic structure determination (1.3 to 2.0 Å-resolution). In vitro assays of cofactor (NADH/NADPH) preference in the four variants showed up to ∼35-fold preference for NADH, which was observed with the Cupriavidus taiwanensis FabG variant. In addition, FabG homologs were overexpressed in fatty acid- and methyl ketone-overproducing E. coli host strains under anaerobic conditions, and the C. taiwanensis variant led to a 60% higher free fatty acid titer and 75% higher methyl ketone titer relative to the control strains. With further engineering, this work could serve as a starting point for establishing a microbial host strain for production of fatty acid-derived biofuels (e.g., methyl ketones) under anaerobic conditions.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 11/2013; · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the actinorhodin type II polyketide synthase, the first polyketide modification is a regiospecific C9-carbonyl reduction, catalyzed by the ketoreductase (actKR). Our previous studies identified the actKR 94-PGG-96 motif as a determinant of stereospecificity. The molecular basis for reduction regiospecificity is, however, not well understood. In this study, we examined the activities of 20 actKR mutants through a combination of kinetic studies, PKS reconstitution, and structural analyses. Residues have been identified that are necessary for substrate interaction, and these observations have suggested a structural model for this reaction. Polyketides dock at the KR surface and are steered into the enzyme pocket where C7-C12 cyclization is mediated by the KR before C9-ketoreduction can occur. These molecular features can potentially serve as engineering targets for the biosynthesis of novel, reduced polyketides.
    Chemistry & biology 09/2013; · 6.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial aromatic polyketides that include many antibiotic and antitumor therapeutics are biosynthesized by the type II polyketide synthase (PKS), which consists of 5-10 stand-alone enzymatic domains. Hedamycin, an antitumor antibiotic polyketide, is uniquely primed with a hexadienyl group generated by a type I PKS followed by coupling to a downstream type II PKS to biosynthesize a 24-carbon polyketide, whose C9 position is reduced by hedamycin type II ketoreductase (hedKR). HedKR is homologous to the actinorhodin KR (actKR), for which we have conducted extensive structural studies previously. How hedKR can accommodate a longer polyketide substrate than the actKR, and the molecular basis of its regio- and stereospecificities, is not well understood. Here we present a detailed study of hedKR that sheds light on its specificity. Sequence alignment of KRs predicts that hedKR is less active than actKR, with significant differences in substrate/inhibitor recognition. In vitro and in vivo assays of hedKR confirmed this hypothesis. The hedKR crystal structure further provides the molecular basis for the observed differences between hedKR and actKR in the recognition of substrates and inhibitors. Instead of the 94-PGG-96 motif observed in actKR, hedKR has the 92-NGG-94 motif, leading to S-dominant stereospecificity, whose molecular basis can be explained by the crystal structure. Together with mutations, assay results, docking simulations, and the hedKR crystal structure, a model for the observed regio- and stereospecificities is presented herein that elucidates how different type II KRs recognize substrates with different chain lengths, yet precisely reduce only the C9-carbonyl group. The molecular features of hedKR important for regio- and stereospecificities can potentially be applied to biosynthesize new polyketides via protein engineering that rationally controls polyketide ketoreduction.
    Biochemistry 08/2011; 50(34):7426-39. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type II polyketides include antibiotics such as tetracycline and chemotherapeutics such as daunorubicin. Type II polyketides are biosynthesized by the type II polyketide synthase (PKS) that consists of 5-10 stand-alone domains. In many type II PKSs, the type II ketoreductase (KR) specifically reduces the C9-carbonyl group. How the type II KR achieves such a high regiospecificity and the nature of stereospecificity are not well understood. Sequence alignment of KRs led to a hypothesis that a well-conserved 94-XGG-96 motif may be involved in controlling the stereochemistry. The stereospecificity of single-, double-, and triple-mutant combinations of P94L, G95D, and G96D were analyzed in vitro and in vivo for the actinorhodin KR (actKR). The P94L mutation is sufficient to change the stereospecificity of actKR. Binary and ternary crystal structures of both wild-type and P94L actKR were determined. Together with assay results, docking simulations, and cocrystal structures, a model for stereochemical control is presented herein that elucidates how type II polyketides are introduced into the substrate pocket such that the C9-carbonyl can be reduced with high regio- and stereospecificities. The molecular features of actKR important for regio- and stereospecificities can potentially be applied in biosynthesizing new polyketides via protein engineering that rationally controls polyketide keto reduction.
    Biochemistry 05/2011; 50(21):4638-49. · 3.38 Impact Factor