Development of a novel dehydrogenase and a stable cofactor regeneration system
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The first goal of this work focused on the development of an amine dehydrogenase (AmDH) from a leucine dehydrogenase using site-directed mutagenesis. We aimed at reductively aminating a prochiral ketone to a chiral amine by using leucine dehydrogenase (LeuDH) as a starting template. This initial work was divided into two stages. The first focused mutagenesis to a specific residue (K68) that we know is key to developing the target functionality. Subsequently, mutagenesis focused on residues known to be in close proximity to a key region of the substrate (M65 and K68). This approach allowed for reduced library size while at the same time increased chances of generating alternate substrate specificity. An NAD+-dependent high throughput assay was optimized and will be discussed. The best variants showed specific activity in mU/mg range towards deaminating the target substrate. The second goal of this work was the development of a thermostable glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) starting with the wild-type gene from Bacillus subtilis. GDH is able to carry out the regeneration of both NADH and NADPH cofactors using glucose as a substrate. We applied the structure-guided consensus method to identify 24 mutations that were introduced using overlap extension. 11 of the tested variants had increased thermal stability, and when combined a GDH variant with a half-life ~3.5 days at 65℃ was generated--a ~10⁶increase in stability when compared to the wild-type. The final goal of this work was the characterization of GDH in homogeneous organic-aqueous solvent systems and salt solutions. Engineered GDH variants showed increased stability in all salts and organic solvents tested. Thermal stability had a positive correlation with organic solvent and salt stability. This allowed the demonstration that consensus-based methods can be used towards engineering enzyme stability in uncommon media. This is of significant value since protein deactivation in salts and organic solvents is not well understood, making a priori design of protein stability in these environments difficult.