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Biomacromolecules. 2005 Jan-Feb;6(1):99-104.

Synergistic effects of Glu130Asp substitution in the type II polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase: enhancement of PHA production and alteration of polymer molecular weight.

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  • 1Polymer Chemistry Laboratory, RIKEN Institute, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.


In vitro evolution of the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase gene from Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 (phaC1(Ps)) has been performed to generate highly active enzymes. In this study, a positive mutant of PHA synthase, Glu130Asp (E130D), was characterized in detail in vivo and in vitro. Recombinant Escherichia coli strain JM109 harboring the E130D mutant gene accumulated 10-fold higher (1.0 wt %) poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)] from glucose, compared to recombinant E. coli harboring the wild-type PHA synthase gene (0.1 wt %). Recombinant E. coli strain LS5218 harboring the E130D PHA synthase gene grown on dodecanoate produced more poly(3HB-co-3-hydroxyalkanoate) [P(3HB-co-3HA)] (20 wt %) copolymer than an LS5218 strain harboring the wild-type PHA synthase gene (13 wt %). The E130D mutation also resulted in the production of copolymer with a slight increase in 3HB composition, compared to copolymer produced by the wild-type PHA synthase. In vitro enzyme activities of the E130D PHA synthase toward various 3-hydroxyacyl-CoAs (4-10 carbons in length) were all higher than those of the wild-type enzyme. The combination of the E130D mutation with other beneficial mutations, such as Ser325Thr and Gln481Lys, exhibited a synergistic effect on in vivo PHA production and in vitro enzyme activity. Interestingly, gel-permeation chromatography analysis revealed that the E130D mutation also had a synergistic effect on the molecular weight of polymers produced in vivo.

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