Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (v.149, #2)

Heterologous Expression of a Hyperthermophilic α-Amylase in Xanthan Gum Producing Xanthomonas campestris Cells by Zoe Konsoula; Maria Liakopoulou-Kyriakides; Angelos Perysinakis; Panayiota Chira; Amalia Afendra; Constantin Drainas; Dimitrios A. Kyriakidis (99-108).
A hyperthermophilic α-amylase encoding gene from Pyrococcus woesei was transferred and expressed in Xanthomonas campestris ATCC 13951. The heterologous α-amylase activity was detected in the intracellular fraction of X. campestris and presented similar thermostability and catalytic properties with the native P. woesei enzyme. The recombinant α-amylase was found to be stable at 90 °C for 4 h and within the same period it retained more than 50% of its initial activity at 110 °C. Furthermore, X. campestris transformants produced similar levels of recombinant α-amylase activity regardless of the carbon source present in the growth medium, whereas the native X. campestris α-amylase production was highly dependent on starch availability and it was suppressed in the presence of glucose or other reducing sugars. On the other hand, xanthan gum yield, which appeared to be similar for both wild type and recombinant X. campestris strains, was enhanced at higher starch or glucose concentrations. Evidence presented in this study supports that X. campestris is a promising cell factory for the co-production of recombinant hyperthermophilic α-amylase and xanthan gum.
Keywords: Hyperthermophilicity; α-amylase; Xanthan gum; Xanthomonas campestris

PCR-based Gene Synthesis, Molecular Cloning, High Level Expression, Purification, and Characterization of Novel Antimicrobial Peptide, Brevinin-2R, in Escherichia Coli by Faramarz Mehrnejad; Hossein Naderi-Manesh; Bijan Ranjbar; Bahman Maroufi; Ahmad Asoodeh; Farahnoosh Doustdar (109-118).
Brevinin-2R, a member of a new family of antimicrobial peptides isolated from the skin of Rana ridibunda, displays antimicrobial activity against bacteria and fungi. In this study, we have used an assembly PCR method for the fast and extremely accurate synthesis of the brevinin-2R gene. A total of six primers were assembled in a single step PCR, and the assembly was then amplified by PCR to produce the final gene. The synthetic gene was cloned into the pET32a (+) vector to allow the expression of brevinin-2R as a Trx fusion protein in Escherichia coli. The results indicated that the expression level of the fusion protein could reach up to 25% of the total cell proteins. The expression products could be easily purified by Ni-NTA chromatography and released from the fusion protein by factor Xa protease. The peptide displayed antimicrobial activity similar to that of the purified brevinin that was reported earlier. This method allows the fast synthesis of a gene that optimized the overexpression in the E. coli system and production of sufficiently large amounts of peptide for functional and structural characterizations.
Keywords: Brevinin-2R; Antimicrobial peptide; PCR-based gene synthesis; Fusion partner; Expression; Rana ridibunda

The chemical modification of N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase (EC3.2.1.30) from viscera of green crab (Scylla serrata) has been first studied. The modification of indole groups of tryptophan of the enzyme by N-bromosuccinimide can lead to complete inactivation, accompanying the absorption decreasing at 275 nm and the fluorescence intensity quenching at 338 nm, indicating that tryptophan is essential residue to the enzyme. The modification of histidine residue, the carboxyl groups, and lysine residue inactivates the enzyme completely or incompletely. The results show that imidazole groups of histidine residue or sulfhydryl residues, the carboxyl groups of acidic amino acid, amino groups of lysine residue, and indole groups of tryptophan were essential for the catalytic activity of enzyme, while the results demonstrate that the disulfide bonds and the carbamidine groups of arginine residues are not essential to the enzyme’s function.
Keywords: N-Acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase; Scylla serrata ; Essential groups; Chemical modification

Functional screening studies revealed that Aspergillus carbonarius ATCC6276 produced extracellular β-galactosidase activity potentially suited for use as a lactase digestive supplement in the treatment of lactose intolerance. The crude preparation contained two β-galactosidase activities, β-gal 1 and β-gal 2, which were separated by ion-exchange chromatography. Both enzymes were purified to homogeneity by a combination of gel filtration, ion-exchange, chromatofocusing and hydrophobic interaction chromatographies. β-gal 1 and β-gal 2 displayed differences in molecular mass (110 kDa versus 120 kDa as judged by SDS PAGE) and in a range of additional physicochemical properties. Km values of 83 and 309 mM, respectively, were recorded using lactose as substrate while temperature optima of 55°C versus 65°C were obtained. Unlike current commercialized supplemental lactases, both of the purified enzymes displayed significant stability when exposed to simulated gastric conditions, with β-gal 1in particular retaining 70% residual activity after exposure to pH 2.0 in the presence of pepsin for 2 h. Overall the results indicate that the β-galactosidases of Aspergillus carbonarius ATCC6276, either individually or in combination, may be suitable for use as a digestive supplement for the alleviation of lactose intolerance.
Keywords: Lactase; β-galactosidase; Aspergillus carbonarius ; Lactose intolerance

Wild type (WT) DNA sequence, which encoded a mature β-mannanase of Aspergillus sulphureus, composed of 1,152 nucleotides (nt), was amplified from pUCm-T-mann by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Based on this DNA fragment, mutants designated as E206G and E314G were constructed by overextension PCR (OE-PCR). Glutamic acids of the 206th and 314th sites in the amino acid sequence of β-mannanase were separately replaced by glycine in these two mutants. The WT and mutant genes were ligated into prokaryotic vector pET-28a (+) and transformed into the Escherichia coli BL21 strain, respectively. The recombinant enzyme proteins were expressed by IPTG induction and detected by Western blot. The recombinant proteins purified with Ni-NTA column were dialyzed to correctly refold. The WT recombinant β-mannanase showed optimal activity at 50 °C and pH 2.4. The kinetic parameters of K m and V max for purified β-mannanase were 1.38 mg/ml and 72.99 U/mg, respectively. However, the mutant proteins did not show any activity. It was demonstrated that E206 and E314 were the catalytic residues of β-mannanase.
Keywords: Aspergillus sulphureus ; β-mannanase; Prokaryotic expression; Site-directed mutagenesis

Increasing the Value of Hominy Feed as a Coproduct by Fermentation by Vivek Sharma; Robert A. Moreau; Vijay Singh (145-153).
Hominy feed is a low value ($83.7/metric ton) coproduct of the corn dry milling process that accounts for nearly 35% of the starting corn quantity. The average composition of hominy feed on a dry basis is 56.9% starch, 25.2% neutral detergent fiber, 11.1% protein, and 5.3% fat. Starch in hominy feed can be fermented to ethanol thus increasing its levels of protein and fat. The increase in protein and fat percentages may increase the market competitiveness and price of hominy feed. Hydrolysis and fermentation were performed on nine hominy feed samples collected from three corn dry milling plants in the USA. The original hominy feed samples and postfermentation solids were analyzed for starch, protein, fat, and fiber content. Compared to the original hominy feed, the percentage increase in protein, fat and fiber in postfermentation solids of nine samples ranged from 10.4 to 21.3, 6.78 to 10.6, and 12.6 to 28.7% (dry basis), respectively. Ethanol yields varied from 271.7 to 380.2 l/metric ton for the nine hominy feed samples. These results indicate that the value of hominy feed as an animal feedstock can potentially be increased with fermentation and can produce more profit per metric ton than currently being derived by its sale as a low protein feed ingredient.
Keywords: Animal feed; Corn dry milling; Ethanol; Hominy feed

Isolation of Novel Alkaliphilic Bacillus Strains for Cyclodextrin Glucanotransferase Production by Nikolina Atanasova; Penka Petrova; Viara Ivanova; Dragomir Yankov; Anna Vassileva; Alexandra Tonkova (155-167).
New alkaliphilic Bacillus producers of cyclodextrin glucanotransferase (CGTase, EC were isolated from 17 Bulgarian alkaline and normal habitats (springs and soils) by three steps of a selection. None of the isolates obtained, producing CGTase, appeared to be thermophilic in character. One hundred and thirty-seven strains were estimated for CGTase activity by batch cultivation in a liquid alkaline medium. Twenty-seven of them had a detectable CGTase activity in their culture supernatants under the enzyme assay conditions, despite of the significant growth of all isolates. The phenotypic properties of three selected strains (20RF, 8SB and 24WE) were determined. They were aerobic endospore-forming Bacillus strains: two of them were obligated alkaliphiles (20RF and 8SB) and one, alkalitolerant (24WE). Both obligated alkaliphiles were further characterised by 16S rRNA analysis. According to the full 16S rRNA gene sequences obtained and deposited to the NCBI GenBank database, both isolated obligated alkaliphiles 20RF and 8SB were clustered into the group of alkaliphilic Bacillus species. The exhibited CGTase production by them (230–250 U ml−1 for 20RF and 130–160 U ml−1 for 8SB) defined these new isolates as promising producers of the enzyme, especially Bacillus sp. 8SB synthesising thermostable alkaline β-CGTase. Both new enzymes from 20RF and 8SB Bacillus strains formed only two types of cyclodextrins, beta and gamma, which could be of interest for their easy separation and industrial production.
Keywords: Alkaliphilic Bacillus isolates; Phenotypic properties; 16S rRNA analysis; Cyclodextrins; Cyclodextrin glucanotransferase; Enzyme and cyclodextrin production

The Pol6 mutant of Penicillium occitanis fungus is of great biotechnological interest since it possesses a high capacity of cellulases and β-glucosidase production with high cellulose degradation efficiency (Jain et al., Enzyme Microb Technol, 12:691–696, 1990; Hadj-Taieb et al., Appl Microbiol Biotechnol, 37:197–201, 1992; Ellouz Chaabouni et al., Enzyme Microb Technol, 16:538–542, 1994; Ellouz Chaabouni et al., Appl Microbiol Biotechnol, 43:267–269, 1995). In this work, two forms of β-glucosidase (β-glu 1 and β-glu 2) were purified from the culture supernatant of the Pol6 strain by gel filtration, ion exchange chromatography, and preparative anionic native electrophoresis. These enzymes were eluted as two distinct species from the diethylamino ethanol Sepharose CL6B and anionic native electrophoresis. However, both behaved identically on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (MW, 98 kDa), shared the same amino acid composition, carbohydrate content (8%), and kinetic properties. Moreover, they strongly cross-reacted immunologically. They were active on cellobiose and pNPG with Km values of 1.43 and 0.37 mM, respectively. β-glu 1 and β-glu 2 were competitively inhibited by 1 mM of glucose and 0.03 mM of δ-gluconolactone. They were also significantly inhibited by Hg2+ and Cu2 at 2 mM. The addition of purified enzymes to the poor β-glucosidase crude extract of Trichoderma reesei increased its hydrolytic efficiency on H3P04 swollen cellulose but had no effect with P. occitanis crude extract. Besides their hydrolytic activities, β-glu 1 and β-glu 2 were endowed with trans-glycosidase activity at high concentration of glucose.
Keywords: Penicillium occitanis ; Pol6 mutant; Cellulolytic system; β-Glucosidase isoforms; Purification

Phytase Production by a Marine Yeast Kodamea ohmeri BG3 by Xiaoyu Li; Zhenming Chi; Zhiqiang Liu; Kuirang Yan; Huijuan Li (183-193).
The marine yeast strain Kodamea ohmeri BG3 isolated from the gut of a marine fish (Hexagrammes otakii) was found to secrete a large amount of phytase into the medium. The crude phytase produced by this marine yeast showed the highest activity at pH 5.0 and 65 °C. The optimal medium for phytase production contained oat 10.0 g/l, ammonium sulfate 15.0 g/l, glucose 30 g/l, and NaCl 20.0 g/l, while the optimal cultivation conditions for phytase production were pH 5.0, a temperature of 28 °C, and a shaking speed of 170 rpm. Under the optimal conditions, over 557.9 mU/ml of phytase activity was produced within 72 h of fermentation at the shake flask level. This is a very high level of phytase activity produced by yeasts. We think that the medium and process for phytase production by the marine yeast strain were very simple, and such marine yeast from the gut of natural marine fish may have a potential application in the maricultural industry and marine environmental protection. The results demonstrate that phytate was actively degraded by the crude phytase within a short period.
Keywords: Marine yeasts; Phytase; Kodamea ohmeri ; Marine fish; Oat