BACKGROUND: Production of heterologous proteins in the E. coli periplasm, or into the extracellular fluid has many advantages; therefore naturally occurring signal peptides are selected for proteins translocation. The aim of this study was the production in high yields of a recombinant pectin lyase that is efficiently secreted and the encapsulation of transformed E. coli cells for pectin degradation in a biotechnological process.
RESULTS: The nucleotide sequence of Bacillus subtilis alpha-amylase's signal peptide was fused to the N-terminal of an heterologously expressed pectin lyase in E. coli BL21 [DE3]. Thus pectin lyase secretion was achieved into the extracellular growth medium. E. coli cells harboring the recombinant plasmid heterologously express pectin lyase to around 22% of the total cellular proteins, as it was estimated by SDS-PAGE and image analysis. IPTG induces the heterologously expressed enzyme, which is initially distributed extracellularly (7 hour) and later on at the periplasmic (9 hours) or cytosolic fraction (20 hours). No pectin lyase activity was found in the membranes fraction and in the inclusion bodies. Encapsulation of the recombinant strains of E. coli in alginate or alginate/silica beads 1:5 showed that pectin lyase could degrade effectively its substrate, for at least ten operational cycles.
CONCLUSION: Secretion of an heterologously overexpressed pectin lyase in E. coli BL21 [DE3] was achieved in this study. For this purpose the signal peptide of alpha-amylase from B. subtilis was fused to the N-terminal domain of pectin lyase. Encapsulated E. coli BL21 [DE3] cells harboring pET29c/exPNL were used successfully for pectin degradation up to ten operational cycles indicating that under special conditions this might have biotechnological implementations.
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