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Identification of enzymes responsible for extracellular alginate depolymerization and alginate metabolism in Vibrio algivorus

Doi, Hidetaka, Tokura, Yuriko, Mori, Yukiko, Mori, Kenichi, Asakura, Yoko, Usuda, Yoshihiro, Fukuda, Hiroo, Chinen, Akito
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2017 v.101 no.4 pp. 1581-1592
DNA, DNA libraries, Escherichia coli, Vibrio, alginate lyase, alginates, bacteria, biocatalysts, biorefining, carbon, cell membranes, depolymerization, fermentation, genes, lysine, molecular weight, screening
Alginate is a marine non-food-competing polysaccharide that has potential applications in biorefinery. Owing to its large size (molecular weight >300,000 Da), alginate cannot pass through the bacterial cell membrane. Therefore, bacteria that utilize alginate are presumed to have an enzyme that degrades extracellular alginate. Recently, Vibrio algivorus sp. SA2ᵀ was identified as a novel alginate-decomposing and alginate-utilizing species. However, little is known about the mechanism of alginate degradation and metabolism in this species. To address this issue, we screened the V. algivorus genomic DNA library for genes encoding polysaccharide-decomposing enzymes using a novel double-layer plate screening method and identified alyB as a candidate. Most identified alginate-decomposing enzymes (i.e., alginate lyases) must be concentrated and purified before extracellular alginate depolymerization. AlyB of V. algivorus heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli depolymerized extracellular alginate without requiring concentration or purification. We found seven homologues in the V. algivorus genome (alyB, alyD, oalA, oalB, oalC, dehR, and toaA) that are thought to encode enzymes responsible for alginate transport and metabolism. Introducing these genes into E. coli enabled the cells to assimilate soluble alginate depolymerized by V. algivorus AlyB as the sole carbon source. The alginate was bioconverted into L-lysine (43.3 mg/l) in E. coli strain AJIK01. These findings demonstrate a simple and novel screening method for identifying polysaccharide-degrading enzymes in bacteria and provide a simple alginate biocatalyst and fermentation system with potential applications in industrial biorefinery.