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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2001 Sep;67(9):4206-14.

DNA from uncultured organisms as a source of 2,5-diketo-D-gluconic acid reductases.

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  • 1Biological Sciences Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.


Total DNA of a population of uncultured organisms was extracted from soil samples, and by using PCR methods, the genes encoding two different 2,5-diketo-D-gluconic acid reductases (DKGRs) were recovered. Degenerate PCR primers based on published sequence information gave internal gene fragments homologous to known DKGRs. Nested primers specific for the internal fragments were combined with random primers to amplify flanking gene fragments from the environmental DNA, and two hypothetical full-length genes were predicted from the combined sequences. Based on these predictions, specific primers were used to amplify the two complete genes in single PCRs. These genes were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The purified gene products catalyzed the reduction of 2,5-diketo-D-gluconic acid to 2-keto-L-gulonic acid. Compared to previously described DKGRs isolated from Corynebacterium spp., these environmental reductases possessed some valuable properties. Both exhibited greater than 20-fold-higher kcat/Km values than those previously determined, primarily as a result of better binding of substrate. The Km values for the two new reductases were 57 and 67 microM, versus 2 and 13 mM for the Corynebacterium enzymes. Both environmental DKGRs accepted NADH as well as NADPH as a cosubstrate; other DKGRs and most related aldo-keto reductases use only NADPH. In addition, one of the new reductases was more thermostable than known DKGRs.

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