Stable production of cyanophycinase in Nicotiana benthamiana and its functionality to hydrolyse cyanophycin in the murine intestine.
ABSTRACT: Food supplementation with the conditionally essential amino acid arginine (Arg) has been shown to have nutritional benefits. Degradation of cyanophycin (CGP), a peptide polymer used for nitrogen storage by cyanobacteria, requires cyanophycinase (CGPase) and results in the release of ?-aspartic acid (Asp)-Arg dipeptides. The simultaneous production of CGP and CGPase in plants could be a convenient source of Arg dipeptides. Different variants of the cphB coding region from Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 were transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants. Translation and enzyme stability were optimized to produce high amounts of active CGPase. Protein stability was increased by the translational fusion of CGPase to the green fluorescent protein (GFP) or to the transit peptide of the small subunit of RuBisCO for peptide production in the chloroplasts. Studies in mice showed that plant-expressed CGP fed in combination with plant-made CGPase was hydrolysed in the intestine, and high levels of ß-Asp-Arg dipeptides were found in plasma, demonstrating dipeptide absorption. However, the lack of an increase in Asp and Arg or its metabolite ornithine in plasma suggests that Arg from CGP was not bioavailable in this mouse group. Intestinal degradation of CGP by CGPase led to low intestinal CGP content 4 h after consumption, but after ingestion of CGP alone, high CGP concentrations remained in the large intestine; this indicated that intact CGP was transported from the small to the large intestine and that CGP was resistant to colonic microbes.
Project description:Feed supplementation with ?-arginine-aspartate dipeptides (?-Asp-Arg DP) shows growth promoting effects in feeding trials with fish and might also be beneficial for pig and poultry farming. Currently, these DPs are generated from purified cyanophycin (CGP), with the help of the CGP-degrading enzyme cyanophycinase (CGPase). As alternative to an in vitro production, the DPs might be directly produced in feed crops. We already demonstrated that CGP can be produced in plastids of tobacco and potato, yielding up to 9.4% of the dry weight (DW). We also transiently co-expressed CGPases in the cytosol without degrading CGP in intact cells, while degradation occurs in the homogenized plant tissue. However, transient co-expression is not feasible for field-grown CGP plants, which is necessary for bulk production. In the present study, we proved that stable co-expression of the CGPase CphE241 in CGP-producing tobacco is sufficient to degrade 2.0% CGP/DW nearly completely within 3 h after homogenization of the leaves. In intact senescing leaves, CGP is partially released to the cytosol and degraded into DPs which limits the overall accumulation of CGP but not the level of the stable DPs. Even after 48 h, 54 ?mol ?-Asp-Arg DP/g DW could be detected in the extract, which correspond to 1.5% DP/DW and represents 84% of the expected amount. Thus, we developed a system for the production of ?-Asp-Arg DP in field-grown plants.
Project description:Using a combination of various enrichment techniques, the strictly anaerobic, gram-positive, endospore-forming bacterium Sedimentibacter hongkongensis strain KI as revealed by 16S rRNA analysis and the gram-negative enterobacterium Citrobacter amalonaticus strain G as revealed by physiological tests were isolated from an anaerobic cyanophycin (CGP)-degrading bacterial consortium. S. hongkongensis strain KI is the first anaerobic bacterium with the ability to hydrolyze CGP to beta-Asp-Arg and beta-Asp-Lys dipeptides, as revealed by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry and reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. However, these primary accumulated hydrolysis products were only partially used by S. hongkongensis strain KI, and significant growth on CGP did not occur. On the other hand, C. amalonaticus strain G did not degrade CGP but grew on the beta-linked iso-dipeptides formed in vitro by enzymatic CGP degradation or in vivo by metabolic activity of S. hongkongensis strain KI. Dipeptide utilization occurred at the highest rate if both strains were used in cocultivation experiments with CGP, indicating that cooperation between different bacteria occurs in anaerobic natural environments for complete CGP turnover. The amino acids obtained from the cleavage of dipeptides were fermented to ethanol, acetic acid, and succinic acid, as revealed by gas chromatographic analysis and by spectrophotometric enzyme assays.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>Heat-resistant endospore formation plays an important role in Clostridium perfringens-associated foodborne illnesses. The spores allow the bacterium to survive heating during normal cooking processes, followed by germination and outgrowth of the bacterium in contaminated foods. To identify proteins associated with germination and other spore functions, a comparative spore membrane proteome analysis of dormant and germinated spores of C. perfringens strain SM101 was performed by using gel-based protein separation and liquid chromatography coupled with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-tandem time of flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF) mass spectrometry. A total of 494 proteins were identified, and 117 of them were predicted to be integral membrane or membrane-associated proteins. Among these membrane proteins, 16 and 26 were detected only in dormant and germinated spores, respectively. One protein that was detected only in germinated spore membranes was the enzyme cyanophycinase, a protease that cleaves the polymer cyanophycin, which is composed of l-arginine-poly(l-aspartic acid), to ?-Asp-Arg. Genes encoding cyanophycinase and cyanophycin synthetase have been observed in many species of Clostridium, but their role has not been defined. To determine the function of cyanophycin in C. perfringens, a mutation was introduced into the cphA gene, encoding cyanophycin synthetase. In comparison to parent strain SM101, the spores of the mutant strain retained wild-type levels of heat resistance, but fewer spores were made, and they were smaller, suggesting that cyanophycin synthesis plays a role in spore assembly. Although cyanophycin could not be extracted from sporulating C. perfringens cells, an Escherichia coli strain expressing the cphA gene made copious amounts of cyanophycin, confirming that cphA encodes a cyanophycin synthetase.<h4>Importance</h4>Clostridium perfringens is a common cause of food poisoning, and germination of spores after cooking is thought to play a significant role in the disease. How C. perfringens controls the germination process is still not completely understood. We characterized the proteome of the membranes from dormant and germinated spores and discovered that large-scale changes occur after germination is initiated. One of the proteins that was detected after germination was the enzyme cyanophycinase, which degrades the storage compound cyanophycin, which is found in cyanobacteria and other prokaryotes. A cyanophycin synthetase mutant was constructed and found to make spores with altered morphology but normal heat resistance, suggesting that cyanophycin plays a different role in C. perfringens than it does in cyanobacteria.
Project description:Four bacterial strains were isolated from a cyanophycin granule polypeptide (CGP)-degrading anaerobic consortium, identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and assigned to species of the genera Pseudomonas, Enterococcus, Clostridium, and Paenibacillus. The consortium member responsible for CGP degradation was assigned as Pseudomonas alcaligenes strain DIP1. The growth of and CGP degradation by strain DIP1 under anaerobic conditions were enhanced but not dependent on the presence of nitrate as an electron acceptor. CGP was hydrolyzed to its constituting beta-Asp-Arg dipeptides, which were then completely utilized within 25 and 4 days under anaerobic and aerobic conditions, respectively. The end products of CGP degradation by strain DIP1 were alanine, succinate, and ornithine as determined by high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. The facultative anaerobic Enterococcus casseliflavus strain ELS3 and the strictly anaerobic Clostridium sulfidogenes strain SGB2 were coisolates and utilized the beta-linked isodipeptides from the common pool available to the mixed consortium, while the fourth isolate, Paenibacillus odorifer strain PNF4, did not play a direct role in the biodegradation of CGP. Several syntrophic interactions affecting CGP degradation, such as substrate utilization, the reduction of electron acceptors, and aeration, were elucidated. This study demonstrates the first investigation of CGP degradation under both anaerobic and aerobic conditions by one bacterial strain, with regard to the physiological role of other bacteria in a mixed consortium.
Project description:Heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria are multicellular organisms in which growth requires the activity of two metabolically interdependent cell types, the vegetative cells that perform oxygenic photosynthesis and the dinitrogen-fixing heterocysts. Vegetative cells provide the heterocysts with reduced carbon, and heterocysts provide the vegetative cells with fixed nitrogen. Heterocysts conspicuously accumulate polar granules made of cyanophycin [multi-L-arginyl-poly (L-aspartic acid)], which is synthesized by cyanophycin synthetase and degraded by the concerted action of cyanophycinase (that releases ?-aspartyl-arginine) and isoaspartyl dipeptidase (that produces aspartate and arginine). Cyanophycin synthetase and cyanophycinase are present at high levels in the heterocysts. Here we created a deletion mutant of gene all3922 encoding isoaspartyl dipeptidase in the model heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. The mutant accumulated cyanophycin and ?-aspartyl-arginine, and was impaired specifically in diazotrophic growth. Analysis of an Anabaena strain bearing an All3922-GFP (green fluorescent protein) fusion and determination of the enzyme activity in specific cell types showed that isoaspartyl dipeptidase is present at significantly lower levels in heterocysts than in vegetative cells. Consistently, isolated heterocysts released substantial amounts of ?-aspartyl-arginine. These observations imply that ?-aspartyl-arginine produced from cyanophycin in the heterocysts is transferred intercellularly to be hydrolyzed, producing aspartate and arginine in the vegetative cells. Our results showing compartmentalized metabolism of cyanophycin identify the nitrogen-rich molecule ?-aspartyl-arginine as a nitrogen vehicle in the unique multicellular system represented by the heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria.
Project description:The thermophilic cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain MA19 contained the structural genes for cyanophycin synthetase (cphA) and cyanophycinase (cphB), which were identified, cloned, and sequenced in this study. The translation products of cphA and cphB exhibited high levels of similarity to corresponding proteins of other cyanobacteria, such as Anabaena variabilis and Synechocystis sp. Recombinant cells of Escherichia coli harboring cphA colinear with lacPO accumulated cyanophycin that accounted for up to 25% (wt/wt) of the dry cell matter in the presence of isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG). The cyanophycin synthetase was enriched 123-fold to electrophoretic homogeneity from the soluble fraction of the recombinant cells by anion-exchange chromatography, affinity chromatography, and gel filtration chromatography. The purified cyanophycin synthetase maintained the parental thermophilic character and was active even after prolonged incubation at 50 degrees C; in the presence of ectoine the enzyme retained 90% of its activity even after 2 h of incubation. The in vitro activity of the enzyme depended on ATP, primers, and both substrates, L-arginine and L-aspartic acid. In addition to native cyanophycin, the purified enzyme accepted a modified cyanophycin containing less arginine, alpha-arginyl aspartic acid dipeptide, and poly-alpha,beta-DL-aspartic acid as primers and also incorporated beta-hydroxyaspartic acid instead of L-aspartic acid or L-canavanine instead of L-arginine at a significant rate. The lack of specificity of this thermostable enzyme with respect to primers and substrates, the thermal stability of the enzyme, and the finding that the enzyme is suitable for in vitro production of cyanophycin make it an interesting candidate for biotechnological processes.
Project description:Pseudomonas alcaligenes DIP1 produces an extracellular cyanophycinase (CphEal). The corresponding gene (cphEal) was identified from subclones of a genomic DNA gene library by heterologously expressing the functionally active enzyme in Escherichia coli. The nucleotide sequence of the gene (1260 base pairs) was determined indicating a theoretical mass of 43.6 kDa (mature CphEal) plus a leader peptide of 2,6 kDa which corresponds well to the apparent molecular mass of 45 kDa as revealed by SDS-PAGE. The enzyme exhibited a high sequence identity of 91% with the extracellular cyanophycinase from P. anguilliseptica strain BI and carried an N-terminal Sec secretion signal peptide. Analysis of the amino acid sequence of cphE revealed a putative catalytic triad consisting of the serine motif GXSXG plus a histidine and a glutamate residue, suggesting a catalytic mechanism similar to serine-type proteases. The cyanophycinase (CphEal) was heterologously produced in two different E. coli strains (Top10 and BL21(DE3)) from two plasmid vectors (pBBR1MCS-4 and pET-23a(+)). The signal peptide of CphEal was cleaved in E. coli, suggesting active export of the protein at least to the periplasm. Substantial enzyme activity was also present in the culture supernatants. The extracellular cyanophycinase activities in E. coli were higher than activities in the wild type P. alcaligenes DIP1 in complex LB medium. Highest extracellular enzyme production was achieved with E. coli BL21(DE3) expressing CphEal from pBBR1MCS-4. Using M9 minimal medium was less effective, but the relatively low cost of mineral salt media makes these results important for the industrial-scale production of dipeptides from cyanophycin.
Project description:The cyanophycin (CGP) synthetase gene (cphANE1) of the transposon-induced argL mutant NE1 of the cyanobacterium Nostoc ellipsosporum, which exhibits a CGP-leaky phenotype during diazotrophical growth, was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli strain TOP10. Its amino acid sequence exhibited high similarities to CphAs of other cyanobacteria. Recombinant cells of E. coli, which harbored a fragment comprising the complete cphANE1 gene plus 400 bp of its downstream region in colinear orientation to the lacZ promoter, accumulated CGP up to 17 and 8.5% (wt/wt) of cellular dry matter (CDM) if cultivated in complex medium in the presence or absence of isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside, respectively. Two truncated CphAs, lacking 31 (CphANE1del96) or 59 (CphANE1del180) amino acids of the C-terminal region, were derived from cphANE1 by deleting 96 or 180 bp from its 3' region through the introduction of stop codons. In comparison to the wild-type gene, cphANE1del96 conferred about 2.1- to 2.2-fold-higher enzyme activity (up to 5.75 U/mg protein) on E. coli. Furthermore, these cells accumulated about twofold more CGP (up to 34.5% [wt/wt] of CDM) than cells expressing the wild-type gene. An engineered CphA possessing significantly enhanced activity and conferring the highest CGP content on E. coli is demonstrated. In contrast, CphANE1del180 was inactive and did not confer CGP accumulation on E. coli. Interestingly, a short conserved stretch of 4 to 5 hydrophobic amino acids is located in the protein region present in CphANE1del96 but absent in CphANE1del180. In addition, CphANE1 and CphANE1del96 are, besides CphA from Acinetobacter baylyi, the only CphAs exhibiting rigid substrate specificities that do not enable the incorporation of lysine instead of arginine into CGP.
Project description:Two strains of the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris were used to establish cyanophycin (multi-L-arginyl-poly-L-aspartic acid [CGP]) synthesis and to explore the applicability of this industrially widely used microorganism for the production of this polyamide. Therefore, the CGP synthetase gene from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6308 (cphA(6308)) was expressed under the control of the alcohol oxidase 1 promoter, yielding CGP contents of up to 10.4% (wt/wt), with the main fraction consisting of the soluble form of the polymer. To increase the polymer contents and to obtain further insights into the structural or catalytic properties of the enzyme, site-directed mutagenesis was applied to cphA(6308) and the mutated gene products were analyzed after expression in P. pastoris and Escherichia coli, respectively. CphA(6308)Delta1, which was truncated by one amino acid at the C terminus; point mutated CphA(6308)C595S; and the combined double-mutant CphA(6308)Delta1C595S protein were purified. They exhibited up to 2.5-fold higher enzyme activities of 4.95 U/mg, 3.20 U/mg, and 4.17 U/mg, respectively, than wild-type CphA(6308) (2.01 U/mg). On the other hand, CphA proteins truncated by two (CphA(6308)Delta2) or three (CphA(6308)Delta3) amino acids at the C terminus showed similar or reduced CphA enzyme activity in comparison to CphA(6308). In flask experiments, a maximum of 14.3% (wt/wt) CGP was detected after the expression of CphA(6308)Delta1 in P. pastoris. For stabilization of the expression plasmid, the his4 gene from Saccharomyces cerevisiae was cloned into the expression vector used and the constructs were transferred to histidine auxotrophic P. pastoris strain GS115. Parallel fermentations at a one-to-one scale revealed 26 degrees C and 6.0 as the optimal temperature and pH, respectively, for CGP synthesis. After optimization of fermentation parameters, medium composition, and the length of the cultivation period, CGP contents could be increased from 3.2 to 13.0% (wt/wt) in cells of P. pastoris GS115 expressing CphA(6308) and up to even 23.3% (wt/wt) in cells of P. pastoris GS115 expressing CphA(6308)Delta1.
Project description:Fmoc-3F-Phe-Arg-NH2 and Fmoc-3F-Phe-Asp-OH dipeptides undergo coassembly to form two-component nanofibril hydrogels. These hydrogels support the viability and growth of NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells. The supramolecular display of Arg and Asp at the nanofibril surface effectively mimics the integrin-binding RGD peptide of fibronectin, without covalent connection between the Arg and Asp functionality.