4-Methyl-5-nitrocatechol (4M5NC) monooxygenase (DntB) from Burkholderia sp. strain DNT catalyzes the second step of 2,4-dinitrotoluene degradation by converting 4M5NC to 2-hydroxy-5-methylquinone with the concomitant removal of the nitro group. DntB is a flavoprotein that has a very narrow substrate range. Here, error-prone PCR was used to create variant DntB M22L/L380I, which accepts the two new substrates 4-nitrophenol (4NP) and 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol (3M4NP). At 300 μM of 4NP, the initial rate of the variant expressing M22L/L380I enzyme (39 ± 6 nmol/min/mg protein) was 10-fold higher than that of the wild-type enzyme (4 ± 2 nmol/min/mg protein). The values of k cat/Km of the purified wild-type DntB enzyme and purified variant M22L/L380I were 40 and 450 (s-1 M-1), respectively, which corroborates that the variant M22L/L380I enzyme has 11-fold-higher efficiency than the wild-type enzyme for 4NP degradation. In addition, the variant M22L/L380I enzyme has fourfold-higher activity toward 3M4NP; at 300 μM, the initial nitrite release rate of M22L/L380I enzyme was 17 ± 4 nmol/min/mg protein, while that of the wild-type enzyme was 4.4 ± 0.7 nmol/min/mg protein. Saturation mutagenesis was also used to further investigate the role of the individual amino acid residues at positions M22, L380, and M22/L380 simultaneously. Mutagenesis at the individual positions M22L and L380I did not show appreciable enhancement in 4NP activity, which suggested that these two sites should be mutated together; simultaneous saturation mutagenesis led to the identification of the variant M22S/L380V, with 20% enhanced degradation of 4NP compared to the variant M22L/L380I. This is the first report of protein engineering for nitrite removal by a flavoprotein.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology