Design of an Escherichia coli system for whole cell mediated steroid synthesis and molecular evolution of steroid hydroxylases
The 15β-hydroxylase (CYP106A2) from Bacillus megaterium, one of the few bacterial steroid hydroxylases, which has been isolated and characterized so far, catalyses the 15β-hydroxylation of a variety of steroids. The enzyme can be supported in its activity with adrenodoxin (Adx) and adrenodoxin reductase (AdR) from bovine adrenals, supplying this enzyme with the reducing equivalents necessary for steroid hydroxylation activity. This three-component electron transfer chain was implemented in Escherichia coli by coexpression of the corresponding coding sequences from two plasmids, containing different selection markers and compatible origins of replication. The cDNAs of AdR and Adx on the first plasmid were separated by a ribosome binding sequence, with the reductase preceding the ferredoxin. The second plasmid for CYP106A2 expression was constructed with all features necessary for a molecular evolution approach. The transformed bacteria show the inducible ability to efficiently convert 11-deoxycorticosterone (DOC) to 15β-DOC at an average rate of 1 mM/d in culture volumes of 300 ml. The steroid conversion system was downscaled to the microtiter plate format and a robot set-up was developed for a fluorescence-based conversion assay as well as a CO difference spectroscopy assay, which enables the screening for enzyme variants with higher activity and stability.
Journal: Journal of Biotechnology - Volume 124, Issue 1, 25 June 2006, Pages 172–181