A simple procedure for recovering biodegradable polymer from bacterial cells has been developed using economical and environmentally friendly solvent or chemicals. Recombinant bacterium, Cupriavidus necator harboring pBBR1MCS-C2 plasmid polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase gene was used for the production of copolymer P(3HB-co-3HHx) from crude palm kernel oil (CPKO). NaOH was chosen in this study as it could give high purity and recovery yield. Increase of NaOH concentration had resulted in an increase of the PHA purity, but the recovery yield had decreased. The greater improvement of PHA purity and recovery were achieved by incubating the freeze-dried cells (10-30 g/L) in NaOH (0.1 M) for 1-3 h at 30°C and polishing using 20% (v/v) of ethanol. The treatment caused negligible degradation of the molecular weight of PHA recovered from the bacterial cells. The present review also highlights other extraction methods to provide greater insights into economical and sustainable recovery of PHA from bacterial cells.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) is a promising candidate for use as an alternative bioplastic to replace petroleum-based plastics. Our understanding of PHA synthase PhaC is poor due to the paucity of available three-dimensional structural information. Here we present a high-resolution crystal structure of the catalytic domain of PhaC from Chromobacterium sp. USM2, PhaC Cs -CAT. The structure shows that PhaC Cs -CAT forms an α/β hydrolase fold comprising α/β core and CAP subdomains. The active site containing Cys291, Asp447 and His477 is located at the bottom of the cavity, which is filled with water molecules and is covered by the partly disordered CAP subdomain. We designated our structure as the closed form, which is distinct from the recently reported catalytic domain from Cupriavidus necator (PhaC Cn -CAT). Structural comparison showed PhaC Cn -CAT adopting a partially open form maintaining a narrow substrate access channel to the active site, but no product egress. PhaC Cs -CAT forms a face-to-face dimer mediated by the CAP subdomains. This arrangement of the dimer is also distinct from that of the PhaC Cn -CAT dimer. These findings suggest that the CAP subdomain should undergo a conformational change during catalytic activity that involves rearrangement of the dimer to facilitate substrate entry and product formation and egress from the active site.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase, PhaC, is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of PHA, a type of bioplastics with huge potential to replace petroleum-based plastics. While two structures have been determined, the exact mechanism remains unclear partly due to the absence of a tunnel for product passage. A model of the class I PhaC from Aquitalea sp. USM4, characterised with Km of 394 μM and kcat of 476 s-1 on 3-(R)-hydroxybutyryl-CoA, revealed a three-branched channel at the dimeric interface. Two of them are opened to the solvent and are expected to serve as the putative routes for substrate entrance and product exit, while the third is elongated in the class II PhaC1 model from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, indicating a role in accommodating the hydroxyalkanoate (HA) moiety of a HA-CoA substrate. Docking of the two tetrahedral intermediates, formed during the transfer of the growing PHA chain from the catalytic Cys to a new molecule of substrate and back to Cys, suggests a common elongation mechanism requiring the HA moiety of the ligand to rotate ~180°. Substrate specificity is determined in part by a bulky Phe/Tyr/Trp residue in the third branch in class I, which is conserved as Ala in class II to create room for longer substrates.
PpCHS is a member of the type III polyketide synthase family and catalyses the synthesis of the flavonoid precursor naringenin chalcone from p-coumaroyl-CoA. Recent research reports the production of pyrone derivatives using either hexanoyl-CoA or butyryl-CoA as starter molecule. The Cys-His-Asn catalytic triad found in other plant chalcone synthase predicted polypeptides is conserved in PpCHS. Site directed mutagenesis involving these amino acids residing in the active-site cavity revealed that the cavity volume of the active-site plays a significant role in the selection of starter molecules as well as product formation. Substitutions of Cys 170 with Arg and Ser amino acids decreased the ability of the PpCHS to utilize hexanoyl-CoA as a starter molecule, which directly effected the production of pyrone derivatives (products). These substitutions are believed to have a restricted number of elongations of the growing polypeptide chain due to the smaller cavity volume of the mutant's active site.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) with enhanced physicochemical properties will be ideal for a wide range of practical applications. The incorporation of 3-hydroxy-4-methylvalerate (3H4MV) into the polymer backbone is known to improve the overall properties of the resulting polymer. However, the most suitable micro-organism and PHA synthase that can synthesize this monomer efficiently still remain unknown at present. Therefore, we evaluated the abilities of a locally isolated Chromobacterium sp. USM2 to produce PHA containing 3H4MV.
A combination of palm olein (POl) and fructose was used as carbon source for the biosynthesis of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) [P(3HB-co-3HHx)] by recombinant Cupriavidus necator Re2058/pCB113. Cultures grown using 5g/L PO alone as carbon source produced cell dry weight (CDW) of 5.13g/L, 67% PHA/CDW and accumulated a copolymer containing 27mol% 3HHx in shake flask cultures. When cultures were grown in 5g/L fructose alone as the carbon source they produced CDW of 2.32g/L, 11% PHA/CDW and accumulated only poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)] homopolymer. When the cells were cultured in 5g/L POl in combination with 7g/L fructose, CDW of 7.41g/L and 80% PHA/CDW was obtained with 17mol% 3HHx monomer fraction. Biosynthesis was carried out using a 13L fermenter to study the accumulation of 3HHx monomer fraction in the bacterial cells at different time point. The molecular weights of P(3HB-co-3HHx) with 4-15mol% 3HHx monomer were in the range between 5.47-6.85×105Da, which were at least two fold higher than previously reported values. Interestingly, the increase in Mwof the copolymer along with the increase in 3HHx molar fraction was observed. The viscoelastic property of the copolymer further confirmed the increase in Mw.
A novel polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)-producing bacterium, Jeongeupia sp. USM3 (JCM 19920) was isolated from the limestone soil at Gua Tempurung, Perak, Malaysia. This is the first report on the complete genome sequence for the genus Jeongeupia. This genome consists of a circular chromosome with a size of 3,788,814 bp and contains 3557 genes. Two PHA synthase (phaC) genes encoding for the key enzyme in the polymerization of PHA monomers and other PHA-associated genes were identified from the genome. Phylogenetic analysis of the PhaC protein sequences has revealed that both PhaC1 and PhaC2 of Jeongeupia sp. USM3 are categorized as Class I PHA synthases with 56% similarity to each other. Both of the PHA synthase genes of this isolate were cloned and heterologously expressed in a PHA mutant strain Cupriavidus necator PHB-4. The ability of the transformants to accumulate PHA showed that both PhaC1 and PhaC2 were functional.
Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB-co-4HB)] copolymer is noted for its high biocompatibility, which makes it an excellent candidate for biopharmaceutical applications. The wild-type Cupriavidus sp. USMAA1020 strain is able to synthesize P(3HB-co-4HB) copolymers with different 4HB monomer compositions (up to 70mol%) in shaken flask cultures. Combinations of 4HB carbon precursors consisting of 1,6-hexanediol and γ-butyrolactone were applied for the production of P(3HB-co-4HB) with different 4HB molar fraction. A sharp increase in 4HB monomer composition was attained by introducing additional copies of PHA synthase gene (phaC), responsible for P(3HB-co-4HB) polymerization. The phaC of Cupriavidus sp. USMAA1020 and Cupriavidus sp. USMAA2-4 were cloned and heterologously introduced into host, wild-type Cupriavidus sp. USMAA1020. The gene dosage treatment resulted in the accumulation of 93mol% 4HB by the transformant strains when grown in similar conditions as the wild-type USMAA1020. The PHA synthase activities for both transformants were almost two-fold higher than the wild-type. The ability of the transformants to produce copolymers with high 4HB monomer composition was also tested in large scale production system using 5L and 30L bioreactors with a constant oxygen mass transfer rate. The 4HB monomer composition could be maintained at a range of 83-89mol%. The mechanical and thermal properties of copolymers improved with increasing 4HB monomer composition. The copolymers produced could be tailored for specific biopharmaceutical applications based on their properties.
Burkholderia sp. synthase has been shown to polymerize 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), 3-hydroxyvalerate, and 3-hydroxy-4-pentenoic acid monomers. This study was carried out to evaluate the ability of Burkholderia sp. USM (JCM 15050) and its transformant harboring the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase gene of Aeromonas caviae to incorporate the newly reported 3-hydroxy-4-methylvalerate (3H4MV) monomer. Various culture parameters such as concentrations of nutrient rich medium, fructose and 4-methylvaleric acid as well as harvesting time were manipulated to produce P(3HB-co-3H4MV) with different 3H4MV compositions. The structural properties of PHA containing 3H4MV monomer were investigated by using nuclear magnetic resonance and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The relative intensities of the bands at 1,183 and 1,228 cm⁻¹ in the FTIR spectra enabled the rapid detection and differentiation of P(3HB-co-3H4MV) from other types of PHA. In addition, the presence of 3H4MV units in the copolymer was found to considerably lower the melting temperature and enthalpy of fusion values compared with poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (P(3HB)). The copolymer exhibited higher thermo-degradation temperature but similar molecular weight and polydispersity compared with P(3HB).
P(3HB-co-4HB) with a high 4HB monomer composition was previously successfully produced using the transformant Cupriavidus malaysiensis USMAA1020 containing an additional copy of the PHA synthase gene. In this study, high PHA density fed-batch cultivation strategies were developed for such 4HB-rich P(3HB-co-4HB). The pulse, constant and mixed feeding strategies resulted in high PHA accumulation, with a PHA content of 74-92 wt% and 4HB monomer composition of 92-99 mol%. The pulse-feed of carbon and nitrogen resulted in higher PHA concentration (30.7 g/L) than carbon alone (22.3 g/L), suggesting that a trace amount of nitrogen is essential to support cell density for PHA accumulation. Constant feeding was found to be a more feasible strategy than mixed feeding, since the latter caused a drastic fluctuation in the C/N ratio, as evidenced by higher biomass formation indicating more carbon flux towards the competitive TCA pathway. A two-times carbon and nitrogen pulse feeding was the most optimal strategy achieving 92 wt% accommodation of the total biomass, with the highest PHA concentration (46 g/L) and yield (Yp/x) of 11.5 g/g. The strategy has kept the C/N at optimal ratio during the active PHA-producing phase. This is the first report of the production of high PHA density for 4HB-rich P(3HB-co-4HB).
Among the various types of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-(R)-3-hydroxyhexanoate] [P(3HB-co-3HHx)] has a high potential to serve as commercial bioplastic due to its striking resemblance to petroleum-based plastics. In this study, five different genotypes of Cupriavidusnecator transformants harbouring the phaCBP-M-CPF4 gene (including PHB¯4/pBBR1-CBP-M-CPF4) were developed to evaluate the efficiency of 3HHx monomer incorporation. The fraction of 3-hydroxyhexanoate (3HHx) monomer that was incorporated into the PHA synthesized by these C. necator transformants using palm oil as the sole carbon source, was examined. Overall, co-expression of enoyl-CoA hydratase gene (phaJ1) from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, along with PHA synthase (PhaC), increased the 3HHx composition in the PHA copolymer. The differences in the enzyme activities of β-ketothiolase (PhaACn) and NADPH-dependent acetoacetyl-CoA reductase (PhaBCn) of the C. necator mutant hosts used in this study, were observed to alter the 3HHx composition and molecular weight of the PHA copolymer produced. The 3HHx fractions in the P(3HB-co-3HHx) produced by these C. necator transformants ranged between 1 and 18 mol%, while the weight-average molecular weight ranged from 0.7 × 106 to 1.8 × 106 Da. PhaCBP-M-CPF4 displayed a typical initial lag-phase and a relatively low synthase activity in the in vitro enzyme assay, which is thought to be the reason for the higher molecular weights of PHA obtained in this study.
Special features of the Japanese ocean include its ranges of latitude and depth. This study is the first to examine the diversity of Class I and II PHA synthases (PhaC) in DNA samples from pelagic seawater taken from the Japan Trench and Nankai Trough from a range of depths from 24 m to 5373 m. PhaC is the key enzyme in microorganisms that determines the types of monomer units that are polymerized into polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and thus affects the physicochemical properties of this thermoplastic polymer. Complete putative PhaC sequences were determined via genome walking, and the activities of newly discovered PhaCs were evaluated in a heterologous host.
The synthesis of bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) is very much dependent on the expression and activity of a key enzyme, PHA synthase (PhaC). Many efforts are being pursued to enhance the activity and broaden the substrate specificity of PhaC. Here, we report the identification of a highly active wild-type PhaC belonging to the recently isolated Chromobacterium sp. USM2 (PhaC(Cs)). PhaC(Cs) showed the ability to utilize 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB), 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV), and 3-hydroxyhexanoate (3HHx) monomers in PHA biosynthesis. An in vitro assay of recombinant PhaC(Cs) expressed in Escherichia coli showed that its polymerization of 3-hydroxybutyryl-coenzyme A activity was nearly 8-fold higher (2,462 ± 80 U/g) than that of the synthase from the model strain C. necator (307 ± 24 U/g). Specific activity using a Strep2-tagged, purified PhaC(Cs) was 238 ± 98 U/mg, almost 5-fold higher than findings of previous studies using purified PhaC from C. necator. Efficient poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)] accumulation in Escherichia coli expressing PhaC(Cs) of up to 76 ± 2 weight percent was observed within 24 h of cultivation. To date, this is the highest activity reported for a purified PHA synthase. PhaC(Cs) is a naturally occurring, highly active PHA synthase with superior polymerizing ability.
In this study, PHA biosynthesis operon of Comamonas sp. EB172, an acid-tolerant strain, consisting of three genes encoding acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase (phaA(Co) gene, 1182 bp), acetoacetyl-CoA reductase (phaB(Co) gene, 738 bp) and PHA synthase, class I (phaC(Co) gene, 1694 bp) were identified. Sequence analysis of the phaA(Co), phaB(Co) and phaC(Co) genes revealed that they shared more than 85%, 89% and 69% identity, respectively, with orthologues from Delftia acidovorans SPH-1 and Acidovorax ebreus TPSY. The PHA biosynthesis genes (phaC(Co) and phaAB(Co)) were successfully cloned in a heterologous host, Escherichia coli JM109. E. coli JM109 transformants harbouring pGEM'-phaC(Co)AB(Re) and pGEM'-phaC(Re)AB(Co) were shown to be functionally active synthesising 33 wt.% and 17 wt.% of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)]. E. coli JM109 transformant harbouring the three genes from the acid-tolerant Comamonas sp. EB172 (phaCAB(Co)) under the control of native promoter from Cupriavidus necator, in vivo polymerised P(3HB) when fed with glucose and volatile mixed organic acids (acetic acid:propionic acid:n-butyric acid) in ration of 3:1:1, respectively. The E. coli JM109 transformant harbouring phaCAB(Co) could accumulate P(3HB) at 2g/L of propionic acid. P(3HB) contents of 40.9% and 43.6% were achieved by using 1% of glucose and mixed organic acids, respectively.
Flavonoids are secondary metabolites synthesized by plants shown to exhibit health benefits such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor effects. Thus, due to the importance of this compound, several enzymes involved in the flavonoid pathway have been cloned and characterized in Escherichia coli. However, the formation of inclusion bodies has become a major disadvantage of this approach. As an alternative, chalcone synthase from Physcomitrella patens was secreted into the medium using a bacteriocin release protein expression vector. Secretion of P. patens chalcone synthase into the culture media was achieved by co-expression with a psW1 plasmid encoding bacteriocin release protein in E. coli Tuner (DE3) plysS. The optimized conditions, which include the incubation of cells for 20 h with 40 ng/ml mitomycin C at OD(600) induction time of 0.5 was found to be the best condition for chalcone synthase secretion.
Palm kernel oil, palm olein, crude palm oil and palm acid oil were used for the synthesis of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) [P(3HB-co-3HHx)] by a mutant strain of Wautersia eutropha (formerly Ralstonia eutropha) harboring the Aeromonas caviae polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase gene. Palm kernel oil was an excellent carbon source for the production of cell biomass and P(3HB-co-3HHx). About 87% (w/w) of the cell dry weight as P(3HB-co-3HHx) was obtained using 5 g palm kernel oil/l. Gravimetric and microscopic analyses further confirmed the high PHA content in the recombinant cells. The molar fraction of 3HHx remained constant at 5 mol % regardless of the type and concentration of palm oil products used. The small amount of 3HHx units was confirmed by 13C NMR analysis. The number average molecular weight (M(n)) of the PHA copolymer produced from the various palm oil products ranged from 27 0000 to 46 0000 Da. The polydispersity was in the range of 2.6-3.9.
Aquitalea sp. USM4 (JCM 19919) was isolated from a freshwater sample at Lata Iskandar Waterfall in Perak, Malaysia. It is a rod-shaped, gram-negative bacterium with high sequence identity (99%) to Aquitalea magnusonii based on 16S rRNA gene analysis. Aquitalea sp. USM4 also possessed a PHA synthase gene (phaC), which had amino acid sequence identity of 77-78% to the PHA synthase of Chromobacterium violaceum ATCC12472 and Pseudogulbenkiania sp. NH8B. PHA biosynthesis results showed that wild-type Aquitalea sp. USM4 was able to accumulate up to 1.5 g/L of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate), [P(3HB)]. The heterologous expression of the PHA synthase gene of Aquitalea sp. USM4 (phaCAq) in Cupriavidus necator PHB(-)4 had resulted in PHA accumulation up to 3.2 g/L of P(3HB). It was further confirmed by (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis that Aquitalea sp. USM4 and C. necator PHB(-)4 transformant were able to produce PHA containing 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV), 4-hydroxybutyrate (4HB) and 3-hydroxy-4-methylvalerate (3H4MV) monomers from suitable precursor substrates. Interestingly, relatively high PHA synthase activity of 863 U/g and 1402 U/g were determined in wild-type Aquitalea sp. USM4 and C. necator PHB(-)4 transformant respectively. This is the first report on the member of genus Aquitalea as a new PHA producer as well as in vitro and in vivo characterization of a novel PHA synthase from Aquitalea sp. USM4.
The effect of foliar application of salicylic acid (SA) at different concentrations (10-3 M and 10-5 M) was investigated on the production of secondary metabolites (flavonoids), chalcone synthase (CHS) activity, antioxidant activity and anticancer activity (against breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) in two varieties of Malaysian ginger, namely Halia Bentong and Halia Bara. The results of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that application of SA induced the synthesis of anthocyanin and fisetin in both varieties. Anthocyanin and fisetin were not detected in the control plants. Accordingly, the concentrations of some flavonoids (rutin and apigenin) decreased significantly in plants treated with different concentrations of SA. The present study showed that SA enhanced the chalcone synthase (CHS) enzyme activity (involving flavonoid synthesis) and recorded the highest activity value of 5.77 nkat /mg protein in Halia Bara with the 10-5 M SA treatment. As the SA concentration was decreased from 10-3 M to 10-5 M, the free radical scavenging power (FRAP) increased about 23% in Halia Bentong and 10.6% in Halia Bara. At a concentration of 350 μg mL-1, the DPPH antioxidant activity recorded the highest value of 58.30%-72.90% with the 10-5 M SA treatment followed by the 10-3 M SA (52.14%-63.66%) treatment. The lowest value was recorded in the untreated control plants (42.5%-46.7%). These results indicate that SA can act not only as an inducer but also as an inhibitor of secondary metabolites. Meanwhile, the highest anticancer activity against MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines was observed for H. Bara extracts treated with 10-5 M SA with values of 61.53 and 59.88%, respectively. The results suggest that the high anticancer activity in these varieties may be related to the high concentration of potent anticancer components including fisetin and anthocyanin. The results thus indicate that the synthesis of flavonoids in ginger can be increased by foliar application of SA in a controlled environment and that the anticancer activity in young ginger extracts could be improved.
Recombinant Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guèrin (rBCG) expressing three T cell epitopes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) Ag85B antigen (P1, P2, P3) fused to the Mtb8.4 protein (rBCG018) or a combination of these antigens fused to B cell epitopes from ESAT-6, CFP-10 and MTP40 proteins (rBCG032) were used to immunize Balb/c mice. Total IgG responses were determined against Mtb8.4 antigen and ESAT-6 and CFP-10 B cell epitopes after immunization with rBCG032. Mice immunized with rBCG032 showed a significant increase in IgG1 and IgG2a antibodies against ESAT-6 and MTP40 (P1) B cell epitopes and IgG3 against both P1 and P2 B cell epitopes of MPT40. Splenocytes from mice immunized with rBCG018 proliferated against Ag85B P2 and P3 T cell epitopes and Mtb8.4 protein whereas those from mice-immunized with rBCG032 responded against all Ag85B epitopes and the ESAT-6 B cell epitope. CD4⁺ and CD8⁺ lymphocytes from mice immunized with rBCG018 produced primarily Th1 type cytokines in response to the T cell epitopes. Similar pattern of recognition against the T cell epitopes were obtained with rBCG032 with the additional recognition of ESAT-6, CFP-10 and one of the MTP40 B cell epitopes with the same pattern of cytokines. This study demonstrates that rBCG constructs expressing either T or T and B cell epitopes of MTB induced appropriate immunogenicity against MTB.