Main content area

Expression in Pichia pastoris and characterization of two novel dirigent proteins for atropselective formation of gossypol

Effenberger, Isabelle, Harport, Michael, Pfannstiel, Jens, Klaiber, Iris, Schaller, Andreas
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2017 v.101 no.5 pp. 2021-2032
Gossypium barbadense, Pichia pastoris, affinity chromatography, batch fermentation, biomimetics, biosynthesis, cotton, free radicals, glycosylation, gossypol, lignans, mass spectrometry, proteins
We established an efficient fed-batch fermentation process for two novel dirigent proteins from cotton plants, GbDIR2 from Gossypium barbadense and GhDIR3 from G. hirsutum, using the engineered Pichia pastoris GlycoSwitch® SuperMan₅ strain to prevent hyperglycosylation. The two (His)₆-tagged proteins were purified by metal-chelate affinity chromatography and obtained in quantities of 12 and 15 mg L⁻¹ of culture volume, respectively. Glycosylation sites were identified for the native and for the enzymatically deglycosylated proteins by mass spectrometry, confirming five to six of the seven predicted glycosylation sites in the NxS/T sequence context. The predominant glycan structure was Man₅GlcNAc₂ with, however, a significant contribution of Man₄–₁₀GlcNAc₂. Both dirigent proteins (DIRs) mediated the formation of (+)-gossypol by atropselective coupling of hemigossypol radicals. Similar to previously characterized DIRs, GbDIR2 and GhDIR3 lacked oxidizing activity and depended on an oxidizing system (laccase/O₂) for the generation of substrate radicals. In contrast to DIRs involved in the biosynthesis of lignans, glycosylation was not essential for function. Quantitative enzymatic deglycosylation yielded active GbDIR2 and GhDIR3 in excellent purity. The described fermentation process in combination with enzymatic deglycosylation will pave the way for mechanistic and structural studies and, eventually, the application of cotton DIRs in a biomimetic approach towards atropselective biaryl synthesis.