Implementing bacterial acid resistance into cell-free protein synthesis for buffer-free expression and screening of enzymes.

Biotechnology and bioengineering

PubMedID: 26059009

Kim HC, Kim KS, Kang TJ, Choi JH, Song J, Choi YH, Kim BG, Kim DM. Implementing bacterial acid resistance into cell-free protein synthesis for buffer-free expression and screening of enzymes. Biotechnol Bioeng. 2015;.
Cell-free protein synthesis utilizes translational machinery isolated from the cells for in vitro expression of template genes. Because it produces proteins without gene cloning and cell cultivation steps, cell-free protein synthesis can be used as a versatile platform for high-throughput expression of enzyme libraries. Furthermore, the open nature of cell-free protein synthesis allows direct integration of enzyme synthesis with subsequent screening steps. However, the presence of high concentration of chemical buffers in the conventional reaction mixture makes it difficult to streamline cell-free protein synthesis with pH-based assay of the synthesized enzymes. In this study, we have implemented an enzyme-assisted bacterial acid resistance mechanism into an Escherichia coli (E. coli) extract-based cell-free protein synthesis system in place of chemical buffers. When deployed in the reaction mixture for cell-free synthesis of enzymes, through proton-consuming conversion of glutamate into ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an engineered glutamate decarboxylase (GADß) was able to maintain the pH of reaction mixture during enzyme synthesis. Because the reaction mixture becomes free of buffering capacity upon the depletion of glutamate, synthesized enzyme could be directly assayed without purification steps. The designed method was successfully applied to the screening of mutant library of sialyltransferase genes to identify mutants with improved enzymatic activity. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2015;112: 2630-2635. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.