Bioengineering of bacterial polymer inclusions catalyzing the synthesis of N-acetylneuraminic acid
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N-Acetylneuraminic acid is produced by alkaline epimerization of N-acetylglucosamine to N-acetylmannosamine and then subsequent condensation with pyruvate catalyzed by free N-acetylneuraminic acid aldolase. The high-alkaline conditions of this process result in the degradation of reactants and products, while the purification of free enzymes to be used for the synthesis reaction is a costly process. The use of N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase has been seen as an alternative to the alkaline epimerization process. In this study, these two enzymes involved in N-acetylneuraminic acid production were immobilized to biopolyester beads in vivo in a one-step, cost-efficient process of production and isolation. Beads with epimerase-only, aldolase-only, and combined epimerase/aldolase activity were recombinantly produced in Escherichia coli. The enzymatic activities were 32 U, 590 U, and 2.2 U/420 U per gram dry bead weight, respectively. Individual beads could convert 18% and 77% of initial GlcNAc and ManNAc, respectively, at high substrate concentrations and near-neutral pH, demonstrating the application of this biobead technology to fine-chemical synthesis. Beads establishing the entire N-acetylneuraminic acid synthesis pathway were able to convert up to 22% of the initial N-acetylglucosamine after a 50-h reaction time into N-acetylneuraminic acid.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
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Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified