RESULTS: The N-terminal truncated mutants of PhaCBP-M-CPF4 were constructed based on the information of the predicted secondary and tertiary structures using PSIPRED server and AlphaFold2 program, respectively. The N-terminal truncated PhaCBP-M-CPF4 mutants were evaluated in C. necator mutant PHB-4 based on the cell dry weight, PHA content, 3HHx molar composition, molecular weights, and granule morphology of the PHA granules. The results showed that most transformants harbouring the N-terminal truncated PhaCBP-M-CPF4 showed a reduction in PHA content and cell dry weight except for PhaCBP-M-CPF4 G8. PhaCBP-M-CPF4 G8 and A27 showed an improved weight-average molecular weight (Mw) of PHA produced due to lower expression of the truncated PhaCBP-M-CPF4. Transformants harbouring PhaCBP-M-CPF4 G8, A27, and T74 showed a reduction in the number of granules. PhaCBP-M-CPF4 G8 produced higher Mw PHA in mostly single larger PHA granules with comparable production as the full-length PhaCBP-M-CPF4.
CONCLUSION: This research showed that N-terminal truncation had effects on PHA accumulation, substrate specificity, Mw, and granule morphology. This study also showed that N-terminal truncation of the amino acids that did not adopt any secondary structure can be an alternative to improve PhaCs for the production of PHA with higher Mw in mostly single larger granules.