A primary goal of protein engineering is to control catalytic activity. Here we show that through mutagenesis of three active site residues, the catalytic activity of a multicomponent monooxygenase is altered so that it hydroxylates all three positions of toluene as well as both positions of naphthalene. Hence, for the first time, an enzyme has been engineered so that its regiospecific oxidation of a substrate can be controlled. Through the A107G mutation in the α-subunit of toluene para-monooxygenase, a variant was formed that hydroxylated toluene primarily at the ortho-position while converting naphthalene to 1-naphthol. Conversely, the A107T variant produced >98% p-cresol and p-nitrophenol from toluene and nitrobenzene, respectively, as well as produced 2-naphthol from naphthalene. The mutation I100S/G103S produced a toluene para-monooxygenase variant that formed 75% m-cresol from toluene and 100% m-nitrophenol from nitrobenzene; thus, for the first time a true meta-hydroxylating toluene monooxygenase was created.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology