Journal of Biotechnology

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0168-1656
Publications
Article
Sinorhizobium meliloti of the order Rhizobiales is a symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacterium nodulating plants of the genera Medicago, Trigonella and Melilotus and hence is of great agricultural importance. In its free-living state it is motile and capable of modulating its movement patterns in response to chemical attractants. Here, the draft genome consisting of a circular chromosome, the megaplasmids pSymA and pSymB and three accessory plasmids of Sinorhizobium meliloti RU11/001, a model organism for flagellum structure, motility and chemotaxis, is reported.
 
Article
Ketogulonicigenium vulgare WSH001 is an industrial strain commonly used in the vitamin C producing industry. In order to acquire a comprehensive understanding of its physiological characteristics, a genome-scale metabolic model of K. vulgare WSH001, iWZ663, including 830 reactions, 649 metabolites, and 663 genes, was reconstructed by genome annotation and literature mining. This model was capable of predicting quantitatively the growth of K. vulgare under L-sorbose fermentation conditions and the results agreed well with experimental data. Furthermore, phenotypic features, such as the defect in sulfate metabolism hampering the syntheses of L-cysteine, L-methionine, coenzyme A (CoA), and glutathione, were investigated and provided an explanation for the poor growth of K. vulgare in monoculture. The model presented here provides a validated platform that can be used to understand and manipulate the phenotype of K. vulgare to further improve 2-KLG production efficiency.
 
Article
A tailor-made glycidyl methacrylate-divinyl benzene (GMA-DVB) copolymer PC-3 was evolved by studying the effect of synthesis variables on binding and expression of D-amino acid oxidase (DAAO) from Aspergillus species strain 020. Almost quantitative binding (100%) and a high yield of immobilization per unit of enzyme loaded was achieved. Optimum pH, optimum temperature and K(m)95% was achieved by using 3% (w/v) solution of ceph C, 48 U of DAAO per g of ceph C, keeping dissolved oxygen level above 50%, maintaining the pH between 7.6 and 7.8 and temperature at 24 degrees C. The immobilized DAAO was used for 60 cycles in a stirred tank reactor.
 
Article
Gamma-D-Glutamyl-L-tryptophan (SCV-07) is a prospective medicine for the treatment of tuberculosis, according to the phase two clinical trial. Because gamma-D-glutamyl-L-tryptophan has several reactive groups in its molecule, consists of D- and L-amino acids, and is connected by gamma-glutamyl linkage, its chemical synthesis is complicated. An efficient enzymatic method to synthesize gamma-D-glutamyl-L-tryptophan from D-glutamine and L-tryptophan employing bacterial gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase was developed. The optimum reaction conditions were 50 mM D-glutamine, 50 mM L-tryptophan, and 0.2 U ml(-1) gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase, pH 9-9.5, and incubation at 37 degrees C for 5 h. After a 5 h incubation, 33 mM gamma-D-glutamyl-L-tryptophan was obtained, the conversion rate being 66%. The product was purified by Dowex 1 x 8 column and was considered to be gamma-D-glutamyl-L-tryptophan.
 
Article
The present study investigates the effect of pH and intermediate products formation on biological hydrogen production using Enterobacter cloacae IIT-BT 08. Initial pH was found to have a profound effect on hydrogen production potential, while regulating the pH 6.5 throughout the fermentation was found to increase the cumulative hydrogen production rate and yield significantly. Modified Gompertz equation was used to fit the cumulative hydrogen production curves to obtain the hydrogen production potential P, the hydrogen production rate R and lag phase λ. At regulated pH 6.5, higher H(2) yield (3.1molH(2)mol(-1) glucose), specific hydrogen production potential (798.1mL/g) and specific rate of H(2) production (72.1mLL(-1)h(-1)g(-1)) were obtained. The volatile fatty acid profile showed butyrate, ethanol and acetate as the major end metabolites of fermentation under the operating pH conditions tested; however, their pattern of distribution was pH dependent. At the optimum pH of 6.5, the acetate to butyrate ratio (A/B ratio) was found to be higher than that at any other pH. The study also investigates the effect of sodium ions on biohydrogen production potential. It was also found that sodium ion concentration up to 250mM enhanced the hydrogen production potential; however, any further increase in the metal ion concentration had an inhibitory effect.
 
Article
Bacillus licheniformis BL-09 is a probiotic strain isolated from naturally fermented congee in Inner Mongolia of China. The genome of this strain contains a 4.39 Mb circular chromosome with an average GC content of 45.9%. The analysis of the genome revealed two gene clusters that are related to the peptide biosynthesis. The available genetic information of these peptides makes it possible to construct an improved strain for the industrial production of antimicrobial agents. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
 
Article
Acyclic hydroxy carotenoids were produced from lycopene and 3,4-didehydrolycopene in Escherichia coli by combining different carotenogenic genes including the carotene hydratase gene crtC and the carotene 3,4-desaturase gene crtD. The genes originated either from Rhodobacter species or Rubrivivax gelatinosus. It was shown that the product of crtD from Rubrivivax unlike the one from Rhodobacter is able to convert 1-HO-3,4-didehydrolycopene to 1-HO-3,4,3',4'-tetradehydrolycopene (=3,4,3',4'-tetradehydro-1,2-dihydro-psi,psi-caroten-1-ol). Thus, only when the desaturase from Rubrivivax is expressed can this novel carotenoid be obtained. In the presence of crtC from Rubrivivax, another carotenoid 1,1'-(HO)(2)-3,4-didehydrolycopene (=3,4-didehydrolycopene-1,2,1',2'-tetrahydro-psi,psi-caroten-1,1'-diol) not found in a non-transgenic organism before is formed in E. coli. Its accumulation under these conditions and its absence when crtC from Rubrivivax is replaced by the corresponding gene from Rhodobacter is discussed. The function of the different crtC and crtD genes in the pathway leading to the individual carotenoids is outlined. Since 1,1'-(HO)(2)-3,4-didehydrolycopene could not be produced in substantial amounts and 1-HO-3,4,3',4'-tetradehydrolycopene has not been described before, their structural characteristics were determined for the definite assignment of their identity. This included spectral properties, determination of relative molecular mass as well as the number of hydroxy groups by mass spectroscopy and NMR spectroscopy for 1,1'-(HO)(2)-3,4-didehydrolycopene.
 
Article
While complex N-linked glycoforms are often desired in biotherapeutic protein production, proteins with simple, homogeneous glycan structure have implications for X-ray crystallography and for recombinant therapeutics targeted to the mannose receptor of antigen presenting cells. Mannosyl (alpha-1,3-)-glycoprotein beta-1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (Mgat1, also called GnTI) adds N-acetylglucosamine to the Man5GlcNAc2 (Man5) N-glycan structure as part of complex N-glycan synthesis. Here, we report the use of zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN) genome editing technology to create Mgat1 disrupted Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines. These cell lines allow for the production of recombinant proteins with Man5 as the predominant N-linked glycosylation species. This method provides advantages over previously reported methods to create Mgat1-deficient cell lines. The use of ZFN-based genome editing eliminates potential regulatory concerns associated with random chemical mutagenesis, while retaining the robust growth and productivity characteristics of the parental cell lines. These Mgat1 disrupted cell lines may be used to produce mannose receptor-targeted therapeutic proteins. Cell line generation work can be performed in both Mgat1 disrupted and wild-type host cell lines to conduct X-ray crystallography studies of protein therapeutics in the same cell line used for production.
 
Alignment of amino acid sequences of 1,2- a - D -mannosidases from T . reesei , A . saitoi , P . citrinum , S . cere 6 isiae and mouse. The alignment was performed with the CLUSTAL W algorithm. Asterisks show amino acid identity; colons indicate conserved amino 
Change in electrophoretic mobility of T . reesei 1,2- a - D - 
FACE analysis of N -glycans released from T . reesei 1,2- a - D -mannosidase. N -glycans released from 40 m g mannosidase were fluorescently labelled with 8-aminonaphthalene- 
Article
A cDNA encoding 1,2-alpha-D-mannosidase mds 1 from Trichoderma reesei was cloned. The largest open reading frame occupied 1571 bp. The predicted sequence contains 523 amino acid residues for a calculated molecular mass of 56,266 Da and shows high similarity to the amino acid sequences of 1,2-alpha-D-mannosidases from Aspergillus saitoi and Penicillium citrinum (51.6 and 51.0% identity, respectively). T. reesei mannosidase was produced as a recombinant enzyme in the yeast Pichia pastoris. Replacement of the N-terminal part with the prepro-signal peptide of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae alpha-mating factor resulted in high amounts of secreted enzyme. A three-step purification protocol was designed and the enzymatic properties were analyzed. The enzyme was characterized as a class-I mannosidase.
 
Article
t-Butanol was an excellent reaction medium for enzyme-mediated esterification of oleic acid with glycerol for 1,3-diolein preparation which has been proved by our group. Herein, to achieve the rational synthesis of 1,3-diolien, response surface methodology was applied to examine the effects of the significant variables and their reciprocal effects on the product synthesis. Under the optimal conditions (62.4°C, 0.75g Novozym 435, substrate molar ratio (oleic acid/glycerol) 2.4 and 4.8g t-butanol), the diolein yield of 87.4% could be achieved, and the value of 1,3-diolien/diolein was as high as 87.8%, which were quite close to the predicted values. Compared with the results of our previous single factor experiment, although the values of diolein yield and 1,3-diolien/diolein could not be improved markedly, the enzyme dosage and the reaction medium were spared by 25% and 20%, respectively, which was a remarkable improvement of the enzymatic process.
 
Article
The synthesis of 4-methylumbelliferyl 3-beta-O-cellobiosyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside (3a) and its use as specific substrate to monitor enzyme activity of 1,3-1,4-beta-D-glucan 4-glucanohydrolases are described. The chromophoric substrate 3a is prepared by a chemoenzymatic approach starting from barley grain, whose beta-D-glucan polysaccharide is degraded down to a tri- and tetrasaccharide by an extracellular extract of recombinant E. coli expressing and secreting Bacillus licheniformis 1,3-1,4-beta-glucanase. The trisaccharide 1 is further chemically transformed into the title compound. Its use as substrate for an enzyme activity assay, the specificity of cleavage, and kinetic parameters are reported. As it undergoes a single glycosidic bond hydrolysis with release of 4-methylumbelliferone, direct UV monitoring of the reaction provides a sensitive kinetic assay of the enzyme action.
 
Article
A design for recognition of beta-1,3-glucanase gene (Glu) specific sequence based on probe extension was described. The detecting probe DNA and the anchoring prober were hybridized with the same target DNA firstly, then the probes were extended by DNA polymerase reaction. After that the double strand DNA was denatured, and the extended detecting probe was immobilized on a glassy carbon electrode via nanoparticle gold (AuNP). In electrochemical detection (cyclic voltammetry, CV and differential pulse voltammetry, DPV), an increased peak current (i(p)) of the indicator (methylene blue, MB) was obtained compared with the probe without extension. Three differently long DNAs of Glu specific sequence were employed as the target: oligonucleotide acid, molecular cloning vector DNA and total genome DNA of transgenic capsicum. The estimated DPV detection limits for three targets of oligonucleotide, the molecular cloning vector DNA and genome DNA were 2.6x10(-13), 6.0x10(-13) and 8.0x10(-13)moll(-1) respectively.
 
Article
Bone tissue engineering put emphasis on fabrication three-dimensional biodegradable porous scaffolds that possess ability to enhance adhesion, proliferation and differentiation of osteoblast cells, therefore supporting bone regeneration and functional bone tissue formation. The aim of this work was to fabricate novel tri-component scaffolds composed of chitosan, β-1,3-glucan, and bioceramics and to evaluate their basic structural, mechanical, and biological properties. It should be noted that we are the first who describe fabrication and characterization of tri-component composites containing β-1,3-glucan. Microstructure of novel composites was visualized by computed tomography scanning and SEM. Compressive strength and Young's modulus of the composites were evaluated by compression testing. The biocompatibility was assessed in vitro by cytotoxicity, cell attachment and cell proliferation tests using human foetal osteoblast cell line. Our results demonstrated that novel composites possess good compressive strength as the effect of polysaccharide components of scaffolds, are very elastic, are non-toxic, favourable to cell adhesion and promote cell proliferation. However, novel biomaterials revealed relatively low Young's modulus values. Thus, we infer that fabricated novel composites are promising materials for bone tissue engineering application as cell scaffolds to fill small bone losses rather than as massive bone fillers exposed to mechanical load.
 
Article
The production of 1,3-propanediol (PD) by a newly isolated Citrobacter freundii strain [FMCC-B 294 (VK-19] was investigated. Different grades of biodiesel-derived glycerol were employed. Slightly lower PD biosynthesis was observed in batch experiments only when crude glycerol from waste-cooking oil trans-esterification was utilized and only at elevated initial substrate concentrations employed. Batch bioreactor cultures revealed the capability of the strain to tolerate elevated amounts of substrate (glycerol up to 170g/L) and produce quantities of PD in such high substrate concentrations. Nevertheless, maximum PD quantities (45.9g/L) were achieved at lower initial glycerol concentrations (∼100g/L) employed, suggesting some inhibition exerted due to the increased initial substrate concentrations. In order to improve PD production, a fed-batch fermentation was carried out and 68.1g/L of PD were produced (the highest PD quantity achieved by C. freundii strains so far) with yield per glycerol consumed ∼0.40g/g and volumetric productivity 0.79g/L/h. Aiming to perform a more economical and eco-friendlier procedure, batch and fed-batch fermentations under completely non-sterile conditions were carried out. During non-sterilized fed-batch process, 176g/L of raw glycerol were converted to 66.3g/L of PD, suggesting the potentiality of the non-sterile fermentation by C. freundii FMCC-B 294.
 
Article
Batch and continuous cultures of a newly isolated Clostridium butyricum strain were carried out on industrial glycerol, the major by-product of the bio-diesel production process. For both types of cultures, the conversion yield obtained was around 0.55 g of 1,3-propanediol formed per 1 g of glycerol consumed whereas the highest 1,3-propanediol concentration, achieved during the single-stage continuous cultures was 35-48 g l-1. Moreover, the strain presented a strong tolerance at the inhibitory effect of the 1,3-propanediol, even at high concentrations of this substance at the chemostat (e.g. 80 g l-1). 1,3-Propanediol was associated with cell growth whereas acetate and butyrate seemed non growth-associated products. At low and medium dilution rates (until 0.1 h-1), butyrate production was favoured, whereas at higher rates acetate production increased. The maximum 1,3-propanediol volumetric productivity obtained was 5.5 g l-1 h-1. A two-stage continuous fermentation was also carried out. The first stage presented high 1,3-propanediol volumetric productivity, whereas the second stage (with a lower dilution rate) served to further increase the final product concentration. High 1,3-propanediol concentrations were achieved (41-46 g l-1), with a maximum volumetric productivity of 3.4 g l-1 h-1. A cell concentration decrease was reported between the second and the first fermentor.
 
Article
In the biotechnological process, insufficient cofactor NADH and multiple by-products restrain the final titer of 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD). In this study, 1,3-PD production was improved by engineering the 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD) and formic acid pathways in integrative recombinant Klebsiella pneumoniae. The formation of 2,3-BD is catalysed by acetoin reductase (AR). An inactivation mutation of the AR in K. pneumoniae CF was generated by insertion of a formate dehydrogenase gene. Inactivation of AR and expression of formate dehydrogenase reduced 2,3-BD formation and improved 1,3-PD production. Fermentation results revealed that intracellular metabolic flux was redistributed pronouncedly. The yield of 1,3-PD reached 0.74mol/mol glycerol in flask fermentation, which is higher than the theoretical yield. In 5 L fed-batch fermentation, the final titer and 1,3-PD yield of the K. pneumoniae CF strain reached 72.2 g/L and 0.569mol/mol, respectively, which were 15.9% and 21.7% higher than those of the wild-type strain. The titers of 2,3-BD and formic acid decreased by 52.2% and 73.4%, respectively. By decreasing the concentration of all nonvolatile by-products and by increasing the availability of NADH, this study demonstrates an important strategy in the metabolic engineering of 1,3-PD production by integrative recombinant hosts.
 
Article
1,3-Propanediol has wide applications for large volume markets, particularly in the polymer business. Microbial production of 1,3-propanediol has been considered as a competitor to the traditional petrochemical routes. However, the formation of 1,3-propanediol is limited by the amount of NADH supplied by the oxidative pathway of glycerol dismutation. Previous metabolic flux analysis revealed that relaxation of the coenzyme specificity of 1,3-propanediol oxidoreductase for both NADH and NADPH would increase the production of 1,3-propanediol as well as maintaining the NADH-NAD(+) circle. This work tried to accomplish such a relaxation by rational protein design. Overall binding free energy indicated that the electrostatic energy was the major force discriminating NADH from NADPH. Computational alanine-scanning mutagenesis of the active site residues illustrated that Asp41 was the key residue responsible for the coenzyme specificity. Compared with Asp41Ala, Asp41Gly could further weaken the repulsion between Asp41 and the phosphate group esterified to the 2'-hydroxyl group of the ribose at the adenine end of NADPH. Site-directed mutagenesis was conducted and the relaxation was successfully realized.
 
Article
A new model of enzymatic 1,3-specific alcoholysis of triacylglycerols has been developed. The irreversibility of the acyl bounds cleavage in glycerides, a reversible monoglycerides isomerization and an irreversible enzyme deactivation have been assumed. The Ping Pong Bi Bi mechanism with competitive inhibition by alcohol has been applied to describe rates of acyl bonds cleavage. The enzymatic propanolysis and iso-propanolysis of triacetin and tricaprylin catalyzed by immobilized lipase B from Candida antarctica (Novozym 435) have been investigated to verify the model. Good agreement between experimental data and calculations has been obtained. It was shown that the rate of tricaprylin alcoholysis is higher than the triacetin alcoholysis and that the rate of iso-propanolysis reactions are higher than propanolysis. The irreversible enzyme deactivation affects the conversion of glycerides whereas the competitive alcohol inhibition may be neglected. Empirical correlations of rates for monoglycerides isomerization and enzyme deactivation have been proposed.
 
Article
A Bacillus sp. CCMI 966, characterised as Bacillus subtilis, has a duplication time of about 24 min. It produces at least two extracellular xylanases, Xyl I and Xyl II. The extracellular xylanase activity seems to be strongly correlated with the biomass growth profile. The Xyl II isoenzyme was purified by ammonium sulphate precipitation and anionic exchange chromatography, with a purification factor of 8.3. The molecular weight of the isoenzyme was estimated by SDS-PAGE revealing that Xyl II is a multimeric enzyme with a catalytic subunit of about 20 kDa. Under non-denaturing conditions, a molecular weight of about 340 kDa was obtained by native PAGE gel and of 20 kDa by gel filtration chromatography. The enzyme showed an optimum pH and temperature of 6.0 at 60 degrees C. Xyl II was stable at 40 degrees C for 180 min at pH 6.0. The specificity of Xyl II for different substrates was evaluated. Xyl II presents a higher affinity towards OSX, with a K(m) of 1.56 g l(-1) and showed the ability to hydrolyse laminarin, with a K(m) of 1.02 g l(-1). Xylotetraose is the main product of xylan degradation. The Xyl II ability for binding to cellulose and/or xylan was also studied.
 
Article
1,3-Propanediol (1,3-PD) is widely used in polymer industry in production of polyethers, polyesters and polyurethanes. In this article, a study on 1,3-PD production and tolerance of Halanaerobium saccharolyticum subsp. saccharolyticum is presented. 1,3-PD production was optimized for temperature, vitamin B(12) and acetate concentration. The highest 1,3-PD concentrations and yields (0.6 mol/mol glycerol) were obtained at vitamin B₁₂ concentration 64 μg/l and an inverse correlation between 1,3-PD and hydrogen production was observed with varying vitamin B₁₂ concentrations. In the studied temperature range and initial acetate concentrations up to 10 g/l, no significant variations were observed in 1,3-PD production. High initial acetate (29-58 g/l) was observed to cause slight decrease in 1,3-PD concentrations produced but no effects on 1,3-PD yields (mol/mol glycerol). Initial 1,3-PD concentrations inhibited the growth of H. saccharolyticum subsp. saccharolyticum. When initial 1,3-PD concentration was raised from 1g/l to 57 g/l, a decrease of 12% to 75%, respectively, in the highest optical density was observed.
 
Article
A recombinant yeast strain was constructed of which the cell wall porosity could be reversibly and conditionally modulated. This strain expresses the Nicotiana plumbaginifolia beta-(1,3)-glucanase under control of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae GAL1 promoter and the mating factor alpha 1 prepro-sequence. The following phenotypic effects were observed after expression of this enzyme: (a) expressed beta-(1,3)-glucanase is toxic to the producing yeast cells, which is reflected by a strong growth inhibition; as beta-(1,3)-glucanase could be detected only inside the cells, it seems to interfere with cell wall growth from within the cell; (b) after induction of glucanase, the recombinant strain lost up to 20% of some periplasmic enzymes, as evidenced by the release of normally periplasmic-associated invertase; (c) preliminary growth in a synthetic medium containing galactose significantly increased the transformation efficiency of the recombinant yeast strain.
 
Article
To fulfill the need for acid-tolerant and thermostable β-1,3-1,4-glucanases, an error-prone PCR and DNA-shuffling approach was employed to enhance the activity of thermostable β-1,3-1,4-glucanases from Paecilomyces thermophila (PtLic16A) at acidic pH. Mutant PtLic16AM2 was selected and characterized, and showed optimal activity at pH 5.0, corresponding to an acidic shift of 2.0 pH units relative to the wild-type enzyme. Other properties of PtLic16A such as temperature optimum and substrate specificity that are beneficial for industrial applications did not change. Based on the substituted residues of PtLic16AM2, three site-directed mutations, D56G, D221G and C263S, were designed to study these residues' roles. The amino acid residues at positions 56 and 263 were found to be important in determining optimal pH activity. Activity of the D221G variant showed no significant difference from the wild-type. Thus, it appears that the change in optimal pH for PtLic16AM2 was mainly caused by the combination of substitutions D56G and C263S. This study provides a β-1,3-1,4-glucanase (PtLic16AM2) with high potential for industrial applications.
 
Article
Research on the biodegradation of explosives has focussed exclusively on the treatment of contaminated soil and water. In the present work the anaerobic degradation of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-s-triazine (RDX) by Enterobacter cloacae ATCC 43560 was investigated, and a two-phase partitioning bioreactor (TPPB) was developed for the destruction of pure, past-date munitions. TPPBs are characterized by a cell-containing aqueous phase, and an immiscible and biocompatible organic phase into which very large amounts of toxic and/or insoluble substrates can be dissolved. Based on equilibrium partitioning, the substrate is then transported to the cells, in response to their metabolic requirements, providing a means of demand-based substrate delivery, and high bioreactor productivity. Through consideration of the critical logP of E. cloacae, whether various classes of solvents could be used as sole carbon and energy sources, the capacity of various organics to dissolve RDX, and solvent cost, 2-undecanone was ultimately selected as the delivery solvent for the TPPB. Using this solvent, both batch and fed-batch operation of the TPPB were undertaken, and the volumetric degradation rate of RDX was found to be higher in this arrangement than any previous values reported in the literature. This work has demonstrated the potential of a method for the destruction of decommissioned munitions involving the dissolution of RDX in 2-undecanone, the use of the RDX-rich solvent as the second phase in a TPPB to degrade this explosive, and the subsequent recycling and re-use of the solvent.
 
Article
A physico-chemical and structural characterization of three 1,4-beta-D-glucan cellobiohydrolases (EC. 3.2.1.91), isolated from a culture filtrate of the white-rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium, reveals that the cellulolytic enzyme secretion pattern and thus the general degradation strategy for P. chrysosporium is similar to that of Trichoderma reesei. Partial sequence data show that two of the isolated enzymes, i.e., CBHI, pI 3.82 and CBH62, pI 4.85, are homologous with CBHI and EGI from T. reesei; while, the third, i.e., CBH50, pI 4.87, is homologous to T. reesei CBHII. Limited proteolysis with papain cleaved each of the three enzymes into two domains: a core protein which retained full catalytic activity against low molecular weight substrates and a peptide fragment corresponding to the cellulose binding domain, in striking similarity to the structural organization of T. reesei. CBHI and CBH62 have their binding domain located at the C-terminus, whereas in CBH50 it is located at the N-terminus. It is evident that synergistically acting cellobiohydrolases is a general requirement for efficient hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose by cellulolytic fungi.
 
Article
Mode of action of endo-beta-1,4-xylanases (EXs) of glycoside hydrolase families 10 (GH-10) and 11 (GH-11) was examined on various acidic xylooligosaccharides. As expected, none of the enzymes of GH-10 cleaved aldotetraouronic acid (MeGlcA3Xyl3), which is the shortest acidic product of the action of these EXs on glucuronoxylan. Surprisingly, aldopentaouronic acid (MeGlcA3Xyl4) was also not attacked. Only aldohexaouronic acid (MeGlcA3Xyl5) served as a substrate and was cleaved to xylobiose and aldotetraouronic acid. These results suggested that binding of xylopyranosyl residue in the -2 subsite is prerequisite for cleavage of the linkage adjacent to the xylopyranosyl unit carrying MeGlcA. EXs of family GH-11 cleaved neither aldotetraouronic acid, nor aldopentaouronic acid, which is in agreement with their action on glucuronoxylan. Aldohexaouronic acid was cleaved to aldopentaouronic acid and xylobiose without any production of xylose, suggesting that a xylosyl transfer reaction is involved in the degradation of the substrate by EXs of GH-11.
 
Article
A simple procedure has been elaborated for preparation of 4-nitrophenyl beta-d-xylopyranosyl-1,4-beta-d-xylopyranoside (NPX(2)), a chromogenic substrate of some endo-beta-1,4-xylanases. The procedure is based on a self-transfer reaction from 4-nitrophenyl beta-d-xylopyranoside catalyzed by an Aureobasidium pullulans and Aspergillus niger beta-xylosidases. Both enzymes catalyzed only the formation of 4-nitrophenyl glycosides of beta-1,4-xylobiose with a small admixture of 4-nitrophenyl glycoside of beta-1,3-xylobiose. The highest yields of the NPX(2) (19.4%) was obtained at pH 5.5. The removal of the beta-1,3-isomer from NPX(2) is not necessary for quantification of endo-beta-1,4-xylanase activity since it is not attacked by endo-beta-1,4-xylanases. In contrast to GH family 5 xylanase from Erwinia chrysanthemi, which did not attack NPX(2), all family 10 and 11 xylanases cleaved the chromogenic substrate exclusively between xylobiose and the aromatic aglycone. Significant differences in the K(m) values of GH10 and GH11 xylanases suggested that activities of these enzymes could be selectively quantified in the mixtures using various concentrations of NPX(2). Moreover, NPX(2) could serve as an ideal substrate to follow the interaction of endo-beta-1,4-xylanases with various xylanase inhibitors.
 
Article
A physico-chemical, functional and structural characterization, including partial sequence data, of three major 1,4-beta-D-glucan glucanohydrolases (EC. 3.2.1.4) isolated from the culture filtrate of the white-rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium, shows that all three enzymes belong to a single family of cellulases. EG44, pI 4.3, (named after its apparent molecular mass in kDa), shows a clear homology with Schizopyllum commune Endoglucanase I (EGI); whereas EG38, pI 4.9, (named in the same manner) is related more closely to Trichoderma reesei (Trichoderma longibrachiatum) Endoglucanase III (EGIII). EG36, pI 5.6-5.7, is probably an EG38 protein lacking its cellulose binding domain. Strong synergistic action is induced by the enzymes acting in concert with cellobiohydrolases (CBHI and CBHII) from the same organism, indicating a highly effective enzymatic system for cellulose degradation. Controlled proteolysis with papain has allowed a so far unique cleavage of endoglucanases EG44 and EG38 into two domains: a core protein, which virtually lacks the capacity to absorb onto microcrystal-line cellulose but retains full catalytic activity against carboxymethyl cellulose and low molecular weight soluble substrates; and a peptide fragment corresponding to the cellulose binding domain. The latter appears to be of paramount significance in the mechanisms involved in the hydrolysis of microcrystalline cellulose.
 
Article
An endo-beta-1,4-mannanase was isolated from digestive fluid of Pacific abalone, Haliotis discus hannai, by successive chromatographies on TOYPEARL CM-650M, hydroxyapatite, and TOYOPEARL HW50F. The abalone mannanase, named HdMan in the present paper, showed a molecular mass of approximately 39,000 Da on SDS-PAGE, and exhibited high hydrolyic activity on both galactomannan from locust bean gum and glucomannan from konjac at an optimal pH and temperature of 7.5 and 45 degrees C, respectively. HdMan could degrade either beta-1,4-mannan or beta-1,4-mannooligosaccharides to mannotriose and mannobiose similarly to beta-1,4-mannanases from Pomacea, Littorina, and Mytilus. In addition, HdMan could disperse the fronds of a red alga Porphyra yezoensis into cell masses consisting of 10-20 cells that are available for cell engineering of this alga. cDNAs encoding HdMan were amplified by polymerase chain reaction from an abalone-hepatopancreas cDNA library. From the nucleotide sequences of the cDNAs, the sequence of 1232 bp in total was determined and the amino-acid sequence of 377 residues was deduced from the translational region of 1134 bp locating at nucleotide positions 15-1148. The N-terminal region of 17 residues except for the initiation Met, was regarded as the signal peptide of HdMan because it was absent in the HdMan protein and showed high similarity to the consensus sequence for signal peptides of eukaryote secretory proteins. Accordingly, mature HdMan was considered to consist of 359 residues with the calculated molecular mass of 39,627.2 Da. HdMan is classified into glycoside hydrolase family 5 (GHF5) on the basis of sequence homology to GHF5 enzymes.
 
Article
When grown on beech-wood glucuronoxylan, two strains of the thermophilic fungus Thermomyces lanuginosius, IMI 84400 and IMI 96213, secreted endo-beta-1,4-xylanase of glycoside hydrolase family 11 and simultaneously accumulated an acidic pentasaccharide in the medium. The aldopentaouronic acid was purified and its structure was established by a combination of NMR spectroscopy and enzyme digestion with glycosidases as MeGlcA(3)Xyl(4). Both strains showed limited growth on wheat arabinoxylan as a carbon source. An essential part of the polysaccharide was not utilized, and it was converted to a series of arabinoxylooligosaccharides differing in the degree of polymerization. The structure of the shorter arabinoxylooligosaccharides remaining in the wheat arabinoxylan-spent medium was established using mass spectrometry and digestion with glycosidases. Xylose and linear beta-1,4-xylooligosaccharides generated extracellularly during growth on either hardwood or cereal xylan were efficiently taken up by the cells and metabolized intracellularly. The data suggest that due to a lack of extracellular beta-xylosidase, alpha-glucuronidase, and alpha-l-arabinofuranosidase, the widely used T. lanuginosus strains might become efficient producers of branched xylooligosaccharides from both types of xylans.
 
Article
A number of engineered Trichoderma reesei endo-beta-1,4-xylanase (Xyn II) mutants were created and activity tests were performed for increased stability. The stability of the earlier characterized mutant Y5 (T2C, T28C, K58R, +191D) was further increased by the mutations creating the constructs P9 (N97R+F93W+H144K), P12 (H144C+N92C), P15 (F180Q+H144C+N92C) and P21 (H22K+F180Q+H144C+N92C). The resistance towards thermal inactivation at alkaline pH was increased in all of the mutants. Residual activity T(50%) was increased 4-5 degrees C for P9 at pH 9. The performance of the P9 mutant in sulphate pulp bleaching was also tested and was shown to increase brightness markedly compared to the reference. The bleaching results showed the industrial potential of the obtained mutant.
 
Article
Microbial endo-beta-1,4-xylanases (EXs, EC 3.2.1.8) belonging to glycanase families 10 (formerly F) and 11 (formerly G) differ in their action on 4-O-methyl-D-glucurono-D-xylan and rhodymenan, a beta-1,3-beta-1,4-xylan. Two high molecular mass EXs (family 10), the Cryptococcus albidus EX and XlnA of Streptomyces lividans, liberate from glucuronoxylan aldotetrauronic acid as the shortest acidic fragment, and from rhodymenan an isomeric xylotriose of the structure Xyl beta 1-3Xyl beta 1-4Xyl as the shortest fragment containing a beta-1,3-linkage. Low molecular mass EXs (family 11), such as the Trichoderma reesei enzymes and XlnB and XlnC of S. lividans, liberate from glucuronoxylan an aldopentauronic acid as the shortest fragment, and from rhodymenan an isomeric xylotetraose as the shortest fragment containing a beta-1,3-linkage. The structure of the oligosaccharides was established by: NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry of per-O-methylated compounds and enzymic hydrolysis by beta-xylosidase and EX, followed by analysis of products by chromatography. The structures of the fragments define in the polysaccharides the linkages attacked and non-attacked by the enzymes. EXs of family 10 require a lower number of unsubstituted consecutive beta-1,4-xylopyranosyl units in the main chain and a lower number of consecutive beta-1,4-xylopyranosyl linkages in rhodymenan than EXs of family 11. These results, together with a greater catalytic versatility of EXs of family 10, suggest that EXs of family 10 have substrate binding sites smaller than those of EXs of family 11. This suggestion is in agreement with the finding that EXs of family 10 show higher affinity for shorter linear beta-1,4-xylooligosaccharides than EXs of family 11. The results are discussed with relevant literature data to understand better the structure-function relationship in this group of glycanases.
 
Article
Sulfite dissolving pulp from Eucalyptus grandis contained approximately 3.8% O-acetyl-4-O-methylglucuronoxylan with a molar ratio of xylose:4-O-methylglucuronic acid:acetyl group close to 13.6:1:6.2. The effects produced by purified endo-xylanases from two different glycosyl hydrolase families (family 10 and 11) as well as acetyl xylan esterases were examined and assessed on pulp in relation to their bleaching abilities. The purified endo-xylanases hydrolyzed only a limited portion (less than 30%) of the acetylglucuronoxylan present in the pulp. The enzymes of family 10 produced acetylated xylobiose and xylotriose whereas acetylated xylobiose was not observed among the products released from the pulp by the family 11 xylanases. The esterases however were not capable of deacetylating the acetylated aldouronic acids generated by the xylanases. Regardless of the different mode of action of the endo-xylanases on dissolving pulp, their effect on pulp bleaching was not related to the amount and nature of sugars generated or the glycosyl hydrolase family. No additional brightness gain was obtained when endo-xylanases were used in conjunction with acetyl xylan esterases, suggesting that the latter do not play an important role in biobleaching of eucalypt sulfite dissolving pulps.
 
Article
We have successfully engineered a disulphide bridge into the N-terminal region of Trichoderma reesei endo-1,4-beta-xylanase II (XYNII) by substituting Thr-2 and Thr-28 with cysteine. The T2C:T28C mutational changes increased the half-life in thermal inactivation of this mesophilic enzyme from approximately 40 s to approximately 20 min at 65 degrees C, and from less than 10 s to approximately 6 min at 70 degrees C. Therefore, the N-terminal disulphide bridge enables the use of XYNII at substantially higher temperatures than permitted by its native mesophilic counterpart. Altogether, thermostability increased by about 15 degrees C. The kinetic properties of the mutant XYNII were maintained at the level of the wild type enzyme. Our findings demonstrated that a properly designed disulphide bridge, here within the N-terminal region of XYNII, can be very effective in resisting thermal inactivation.
 
Article
Two variants of an endo-beta-1,4-mannanase from the digestive tract of blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, were purified by a combination of immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography, size exclusion chromatography in the absence and presence of guanidine hydrochloride and ion exchange chromatography. The purified enzymes were characterized with regard to enzymatic properties, molecular weight, isoelectric point, amino acid composition and N-terminal sequence. They are monomeric proteins with molecular masses of 39216 and 39265 Da, respectively, as measured by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The isoelectric points of both enzymes were estimated to be around 7.8, however slightly different, by isoelectric focusing in polyacrylamide gel. The enzymes are stable from pH 4.0 to 9.0 and have their maximum activities at a pH about 5.2. The optimum temperature of both enzymes is around 50-55 degrees C. Their stability decreases rapidly when going from 40 to 50 degrees C. The N-terminal sequences (12 residues) were identical for the two variants. They can be completely renatured after denaturation in 6 M guanidine hydrochloride. The enzymes readily degrade the galactomannans from locust bean gum and ivory nut mannan but show no cross-specificity for xylan and carboxymethyl cellulose. There is no binding ability observed towards cellulose and mannan.
 
Article
There are currently four crystal structures of low molecular weight endo-1,4-beta-xylanases (E.C.3.2.1.8), i.e. family G/11 xylanases, available at the Brookhaven Data Bank: 2 xylanases from Trichoderma reesei (Törrönen et al., 1994; Törrönen and Rouvinen, 1995) and one from Bacillus circulans and another from Trichoderma harzianum (Campbell et al., 1993). They consist of two beta-sheets and one alpha-helix and have been described to resemble a partly-closed right hand. The catalytic residues are two conserved glutamate residues, which are located opposite to each other in an open active site cleft. The catalytic mechanism is thought to resemble that of the widely-studied enzyme lysozyme. The role of one glutamate is to act as an acid/base catalyst whereas the other is a nucleophile and stabilizes the reaction intermediate. Complex structures of partly-bound xylotetraose in mutated XYN from Bacillus circulans (Wakarchuck et al., 1994a) and three recently-obtained structures of XYNII from Trichoderma reesei with epoxyalkyl-xylose derivatives (Havukainen et al., 1996) have provided important information on substrate binding. Family G/11 xylanases show clear amino acid homology and thus have a common fold. However, variations in their functional properties, such as catalytic activity, substrate cleaving patterns, pH optima and thermostabilities, exist.
 
Article
A novel scheme employing enzymatic catalysts is described enabling conversion of D-ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) from 3-phospho-D-glycerate (3-PGA) without loss of carbon. Bioreactors harboring immobilized enzymes namely, phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK), glycerate phosphate dehydrogenase, triose phosphate isomerase (TIM), aldolase, transketolase (TKL), phosphatase (PTASE/FP), epimerase (EMR) and phosphoribulokinase (PRK), in accordance with this novel scheme were employed. These reactors were designed and constructed based on simulations carried out to study their performance under various operational conditions and allowed production of about 56 +/- 3% RuBP from 3-PGA. This method of synthesis of RuBP from 3-PGA employing immobilized enzyme bioreactors may be used for continuous regeneration of RuBP in biocatalytic carbon dioxide fixation processes from emissions where RuBP acts as acceptor of carbon dioxide to produce 3-PGA, rendering the fixation process continuous.
 
Article
In this study, we describe the development of a cost effective and highly productive cell-free protein synthesis system derived from Escherichia coli. Through the use of an optimal energy source and cell extract, approximately 1.3mg/mL of protein was generated from a single batch reaction at greatly reduced reagent costs. Compared to previously reported systems, the described method yields approximately 14-fold higher productivity per unit reagent cost making this cell-free synthesis technique a promising alternative for more efficient protein production.
 
Article
"CloneAssistant 1.0" is a stand-alone software compatible with the current Windows operating systems, which can automatically design cloning primers with full consideration of the sequence information of vectors and genes, cloning strategies, the principles of primer design, reading frames, position effects, and enzymatic reaction conditions for users. Five internal XML (extensible markup language) databases [restriction enzymes, plasmids, universal buffers, PCR (polymerase chain reaction) protection bases, and an MCS (multiple cloning site) double digest interference database] were established to serve as the basic support for "CloneAssistant 1.0". The primer pairs designed are sorted according to the difficulty of the follow-up experiments. Once a primer pair is selected by the user, detailed experimental guidance for this primer pair will be provided. In addition, "CloneAssistant 1.0" can be used for restriction map analysis, ORF (open reading frame) finding, sequence alignment and complementary analysis, translation, restriction enzyme and universal buffer queries, and isocaudamer analysis. "CloneAssistant 1.0" makes gene clone design much easier, and it can be freely downloaded from http://bis.zju.edu.cn/clone.
 
Article
Multi-parameter flow cytometry was used to monitor the population dynamics of Bacillus licheniformis continuous cultivations and the physiological responses to a starvation period and a glucose pulse. Using a mixture of two specific fluorescent stains, DiOC6(3) (3,3'-dihexylocarbocyanine iodide), and PI (propidium iodide), flow cytometric analysis revealed cell physiological heterogeneity. Four sub-populations of cells could be easily identified based on their differential fluorescent staining, these correspond to healthy cells (A) stained with DiOC6(3); cells or spores with a depolarised cytoplasmic membrane (B), no staining; cells with a permeabilised depolarised cytoplasmic membrane (C), stained with PI; and permeablised cells with a disrupted cytoplasmic membrane 'ghost cells' (D), stained with both DiOC6(3) and PI. Transmission electron micrographs of cells starved of energy showed different cell lysis process stages, highlighting 'ghost cells' which were associated with the double stained sub-population. It was shown, at the individual cell level, that there was a progressive inherent fluctuation in physiological heterogeneity in response to changing environmental conditions. All four sub-populations were shown to be present during glucose-limited continuous cultures, revealing a higher physiological stress level when compared with a glucose pulsed batch. A starvation period (batch without additional nutrients) increased the number of cells in certain sub-populations (cells with depolarised cytoplasmic membranes and cells with permeabilised depolarised cytoplasmic membranes), indicating that such stress may be caused by glucose limitation. Such information could be used to enhance process efficiency.
 
Article
The availability of nitrogen often limits plant growth in terrestrial ecosystems. The only biological reaction counterbalancing the loss of N from soils or ecosystems is biological nitrogen fixation, the enzymatic reduction of N2 to ammonia. Some gramineous crops such as certain Brazilian sugar cane cultivars or Kallar grass can derive a substantial part of the plant nitrogen from biological nitrogen fixation. Our research on grass-associated diazotrophs focuses on endophytic bacteria, microorganisms that multiply and spread inside plants without causing damage of the host plants or conferring an ecological threat to the plant. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the diazotrophic endophyte Azoarcus sp. BH72, which is capable of colonizing the interior of rice roots, one of the globally most important crops.
 
Article
The phytopathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni is the causal agent of Prunus Bacterial Spot disease that infects cultivated Prunus species and their hybrids. Furthermore, X. arboricola pv. pruni (Xap) plays a role in biotechnology since it produces xanthan gum, an important biopolymer used mainly in the food, oil, and cosmetics industry. To gain first insights into the genome composition of this pathovar, genomic DNA of X. arboricola pv. pruni strains was compared to the genomes of reference strains X. campestris pv. campestris B100 (Xcc B100) and X. campestris pv. vesicatoria 85-10 (Xcv 85-10) applying microarray-based comparative genomic hybridizations (CGH). The results implied that X. arboricola pv. pruni 109 lacks 6.67% and 5.21% of the genes present in the reference strains Xcc B100 and Xcv 85-10, respectively. Most of the missing genes were found to be organized in clusters and do not belong to the core genome of the two reference strains. Often they encode mobile genetic elements. Furthermore, the absence of gene clusters coding for the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O-antigens of Xcc B100 and Xcv 85-10 indicates that the structure of the O-antigen of X. arboricola pv. pruni 109 differs from that of Xcc B100 and Xcv 85-10.
 
Article
(R)-phenylephrine [(R)-PE] is an α1-adrenergic receptor agonist and is widely used as a nasal decongestant to treat the common cold without the side effects of other ephedrine adrenergic drugs. We identified a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SM_SDR) from Serratia marcescens BCRC 10948 that was able to convert 1-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-2-(methylamino) ethanone (HPMAE) to (R)-PE. The SM_SDR used NADPH and NADH as cofactors with specific activities of 17.35±0.71 and 5.57±0.07 mU/mg protein, respectively, at 30°C and pH 7.0, thereby indicating that this enzyme could be categorized as an NADPH-preferring short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase. Escherichia coli strain BL21 (DE3) expressing SM_SDR could convert HPMAE to (R)-PE with more than 99% enantiomeric excess. The productivity and conversion yield were 0.57mmol PE/l. h and 51.06%, respectively, using 10mM HPMAE. Fructose was the most effective carbon source for the conversion of HPMAE to (R)-PE.
 
Article
Currently, the majority of worldwide microbial production of citric acid utilizes Aspergillus niger in a carbohydrate based submerged fermentation. Due to their high carbon content, hydrocarbons also have the potential of producing high concentrations of citric acid. Initial lab experiments conducted using 1875 ml batch fermentations with n-paraffin found that Candida lipolytica NRRL-Y-1095 assimilated the feedstock and had a citric acid productivity of 47 mg l(-1) h(-1). To determine the optimum level of initial biomass concentration, n-paraffin concentration, iron concentration and temperature for the production of citric acid, a central composite design was developed using 200 ml batch fermentations. The design involved conducting 31 batch fermentations under various combinations of high and low values of these four parameters. From this investigation empirical models were developed describing the interactions between the experimental parameters and citric acid production. It was found that the maximum concentration of citric acid produced was 9.8 g l(-1) and the optimum levels of each parameter for citric acid production were, 10--12% volume for initial biomass concentration, 10--15% volume for n-paraffin concentration, 10 mg l(-1) for ferric nitrate concentration, and 26--30 degrees C for temperature.
 
Differential expression of PR-10a protein in a cell suspension culture of S. tuberosum cultivar 'Desiree' exposed for 26 h and 72 h to 0.32 M NaCl after IEF/SDS-PAGE and silver staining. For isoelectric focusing IPG strips representing a pH range from 3 to 10 were used. For the second dimension SDS gels of 12.5% polyacrylamide were used separating proteins in a range from 10 to 150 kDa. The arrows point to the position of the PR-10a protein, which is not visible after 26 h (A) but after 72 h (B) exposure to 0.32 M NaCl.  
Molecular characterization of wild type and transgenic cell lines. (A) Southern blot analysis of DNA from transgenic and wild type potato suspension cells. DNA was digested with XbaI. Digoxigenin labelled hybridization probes for the pr-10a as well as for luc gene have been used. M: digoxigenin-labelled DNA Molecular Weight Marker II (Roche); TR: transgenic clone of Solanum tuberosum cv Desiree; WT: wild type clone; P: plasmid DNA. (B) Semi-quantitative determination of pr-10a transcript amplified from cDNA of transgenic suspension culture (TR) in comparison to a wild type culture before (T0) and after treatment with 0.5 M sorbitol for 4 h (T4 h), 24 h (T24 h) and 48 h (T48 h). Controls shown on the rightmost images: (a) GeneRuler (visible region between 500 bp and 1200 bp); (b) pr-10a PCR products amplified from gDNA of the transgenic culture (TR) (showing the 398 bp fragment of the recombinant pr-10a gene and the 755 bp fragment originating from the intron containing wild type gene); (c) pr-10a PCR products amplified from gDNA of the wild type cell line (WT) (showing the 755 bp fragment for the wild type pr-10a gene and an unspecific fragment above); (d) plasmid control; (e) water control. For control: semi-quantitative PCR of 18S RNA as housekeeping gene in the wild type (WT) and the transgenic (TR) cell cultures before (T0) and after treatment with 0.5 M sorbitol for 4 h (T4 h), 24 h (T24 h) and 48 h (T48 h). The lanes represent products of PCR amplification stopped after different amplification cycles (3, 6, 9, 12, 15). (C) PR-10a protein spot detection in 2D electrophoresis gels under non stress conditions in a transgenic (TR) and wild type suspension culture (WT). 40 g total protein extracted from the cells were analyzed per gel. After automatic spot detection a constitutively expressed spot was defined as landmark in both gels (a detail of the total gel is shown).  
Characterization of growth of the wild type and transgenic cell line under osmotic and salt stress. (A) Callus growth under osmotic stress. Wild type (WT) and transgenic potato cell cultures (TR) grown for 4 weeks on solid 4× medium without (control) and with sorbitol supplementation in different concentrations (0.25 M sorbitol, 0.5 M sorbitol, 0.75 M sorbitol). (B) Callus growth under salt stress. Wild type (WT) and transgenic potato cell cultures (TR) grown for 4 weeks on solid 4× medium with and without addition of NaCl at different concentrations. Medium composition: normal growth medium (control); salt (NaCl) (0.05 M, 0.1 M, 0.15 M, 0.2 M); phosphinothricin (ppt) (5 mg l −1 ). (C) Dry weight accumulation of wild type and transgenic cultures under control conditions, sorbitol (0.5 M) and NaCl (0.32 M) stress conditions in liquid culture. The dry weight measures for all 5 Erlenmeyer flasks harvested every second day for wild type and transgenic culture are indicated.  
Physical map of the dicistronic transformation vector used. LB: left border , RB: right border, t-nos: nos terminator, bar: herbicide resistance selectable marker from Streptomyces hygroscopicus, p-nos: nos promoter, p-mas: mannopine synthase promoter, IRES: internal ribosome entry site from Tobacco mosaic virus, luc: luciferase gene, t-camv: cauliflower mosaic virus terminator.  
Effect of PR-10a over-expression on glutathione and proline metabolism. (A) Percentage of oxidized glutathione from total glutathione in transgenic (TR) and nontransgenic (WT) cell cultures cv. Desiree grown for 3 days under normal growth conditions (control) or different stress conditions (0.32 M NaCl, 0.5 M sorbitol). (B) Proline content of wild type (WT) and transgenic potato cell cultures cv. 'Desiree' (TR) after 3 days of growth under normal growth conditions (control) as well as osmotic (0.5 M sorbitol) or salt (0.32 M NaCl) challenge conditions. FW: fresh weight. Data shown represent the mean of 3 replicates with a standard deviation ranging from 5 to 10%. (Error bars are indicated in both diagrams, although difficult to visualize for proline.)  
Article
The PR-10a protein (formerly STH-2) is known to be induced by biotic stress in potato. The present study demonstrates that transgenic suspension cells of the potato cultivar Desiree over-expressing the PR-10a protein exhibit significantly increased salt and osmotic tolerance compared to the respective wild type cells. A comparison of the proteome pattern of Solanum tuberosum suspension cultures cv. Desiree before and after the treatment with NaCl or sorbitol under equiosmolar conditions (740mOs/kg) revealed the pathogenesis related protein PR-10a to be one of the predominant differentially expressed proteins in potato cell cultures. The pr-10a mRNA was confirmed to be present by RT-PCR from salt challenged suspension cells and was transcribed into cDNA. For PR-10a over-expression Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation of the potato cells and a dicistronic vector harboring the cDNA of the pr-10a gene linked to a luciferase gene by an IRES (Internal Ribosome Binding Site) was used. The IRES mediated translation leads to co-expression of PR-10a and luciferase in a fixed ratio. By non-invasive luciferase assay homologous PR-10a over-expressing callus was identified after selection on phosphinothricin supplemented medium. This callus was used for the setup of a transgenic suspension culture. Along with increased salt and osmotic tolerance the transformed culture showed changed proline and glutathione levels under abiotic stress conditions in comparison to the wild type.
 
Article
Eighty-two amino acid sequences of the catalytic domains of mature endoxylanases belonging to family 11 have been aligned using the programs MATCHBOX and CLUSTAL. The sequences range in length from 175 to 233 residues. The two glutamates acting as catalytic residues are conserved in all sequences. A very good correlation is found between the presence (at position 100) of an asparagine in the so-called 'alkaline' xylanases, or an aspartic acid in those with a more acidic pH optimum. Four boxes defining segments of highest similarity were detected; they correspond to regions of defined secondary structure: B5, B6, B8 and the carboxyl end of the alpha helix, respectively. Cysteine residues are not common in these sequences (0.7% of all residues), and disulfide bridges are not important in explaining the stability of several thermophilic xylanases. The alignment allows the classification of the enzymes in groups according to sequence similarity. Fungal and bacterial enzymes were found to form mostly separate clusters of higher similarity.
 
Article
Enzymatic hydrolysis constitutes an attractive strategy for biorefining of abundant, low-cost agricultural by-products such as wheat bran and straw. However, to adopt such an approach, efficient enzymes are required, in particular xylanases. To promote heat-induced disorganization of the complex cell wall network in wheat bran and thus increase enzymatic hydrolysis, we have attempted to improve the thermoresistance of a GH-11 xylanase that is already moderately thermostable. Using a previously described engineering strategy that involves the introduction of disulphide bridges, a mutant (Tx-xyl-SS3) displaying enhanced thermostability and thermoactivity was obtained. The half life at 70 degrees C (180 min) of Tx-xyl-SS3 is 10-fold greater than that of the wild type enzyme and its specific activity is almost doubled (3500 IU mg(-1)). Despite these improvements, Tx-xyl-SS3 was unsuitable for use at significantly higher reaction temperatures (i.e. 85-95 degrees C) and thus the initial objective of this study remained unaccomplished. However, unexpectedly even at the normal hydrolytic temperature (60 degrees C), Tx-xyl-SS3 was able to solubilize 50% of the wheat bran arabinoxylans, 10 points more than the wild type enzyme in parallel reactions. The data presented here show that this improvement is not directly linked to the increase in thermostability and/or thermoactivity, but rather to other unidentified changes to physico-chemical properties that may allow Tx-xyl-SS3 to better penetrate the cell wall network in wheat bran.
 
Article
The Bacillus subtilis endoxylanase XynA (BSXY) is frequently used to improve the functionality of arabinoxylan-containing material in cereal based industries. The presence of endogenous Triticum aestivum xylanase inhibitors (TAXI-I and TAXI-II) in wheat is a real concern as they have a direct negative impact on the efficiency of this enzyme. Here, we used the recently determined structure of the complex between TAXI-I and an endoxylanase of Aspergillus niger to develop inhibitor-insensitive BSXY variants by site-directed mutagenesis of strategically chosen amino acids. We either induced steric hindrance to reject the inhibitors or interrupted key interactions with the inhibitors in the endoxylanase substrate-binding groove. The first strategy was successfully applied to position G12 where G12W combined inhibition insensitivity with unharmed catalytic performance. Variants from the second strategy showed altered inhibitor sensitivities concomitant with changes in enzyme activities and allowed to gain insight in the binding-mode of both TAXI-I and TAXI-II with BSXY.
 
Top-cited authors
Peter Biely
  • Slovak Academy of Sciences
Kaisa Poutanen
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Emilio Molina-Grima
  • Universidad de Almería
Michael Bailey
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Maija Tenkanen
  • University of Helsinki