β-Aminopeptidases: Insight into enzymes without a known natural substrate

Marietta John-White, James Gardiner, Priscilla Johanesen, Dena Lyras, Geoffrey Dumsday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

β-Aminopeptidases have the unique capability to hydrolyze N-terminal β-amino acids, with varied preferences for the nature of β-amino acid side chains. This unique capability makes them useful as biocatalysts for synthesis of β-peptides and to kinetically resolve β-peptides and amides for the production of enantiopure β-amino acids. To date, six β-aminopeptidases have been discovered and functionally characterized, five from Gram-negative bacteria and one from a fungus, Aspergillus. Here we report on the purification and characterization of an additional four β-aminopeptidases, one from a Gram-positive bacterium, Mycolicibacterium smegmatis (BapAMs), one from a yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica (BapAγlip), and two from Gram-negative bacteria isolated from activated sludge identified as Burkholderia spp. (BapABcA5 and BapABcC1). The genes encoding β-aminopeptidases were cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified. The β-aminopeptidases were produced as inactive preproteins that underwent selfcleavage to form active enzymes comprised of two different subunits. The subunits, designated α and β, appeared to be tightly associated, as the active enzyme was recovered after immobilized-metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) purification, even though only the α-subunit was 6-histidine tagged. The enzymes were shown to hydrolyze chromogenic substrates with the N-terminal L-configurations β-homo-Gly (βhGly) and β3-homo-Leu (β3hLeu) with high activities. These enzymes displayed higher activity with H-βhGly-p-nitroanilide (H-βhGlypNA) than previously characterized enzymes from other microorganisms. These data indicate that the new β-aminopeptidases are fully functional, adding to the toolbox of enzymes that could be used to produce β-peptides. Overexpression studies in Pseudomonas aeruginosa also showed that the β-aminopeptidases may play a role in some cellular functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00318-19
Number of pages20
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume85
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Enzymes
  • β-amino acids
  • β-aminopeptidases
  • β-peptides

Cite this