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Protein Eng Des Sel. 2010 Dec;23(12):903-9. doi: 10.1093/protein/gzq071. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Thermostabilization of an esterase by alignment-guided focussed directed evolution.

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Department of Biotechnology and Enzyme Catalysis, Institute of Biochemistry, Greifswald University, Felix-Hausdorff-Str. 4, 17487 Greifswald, Germany.


Site-saturation libraries of the Pseudomonas fluorescens esterase were created targeting three surface positions to increase its thermostability on the basis of the B-factor iterative test principle. All three positions were saturated simultaneously using our recently developed protocol for the design of 'small, but smart' mutant libraries bearing only consensus-like mutations. Hence, the library size could be significantly reduced while ensuring a high hit rate. Variants could be identified that showed significantly improved stability (8° C higher compared with the wild type) without compromising specific activity. Subsequent iterative saturation mutagenesis gave an esterase mutant with a 9° C increased melting point, but unchanged catalytic properties.

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