Acetic acid bacteria have unique metabolic characteristics that suit them for a variety of biotechnological applications. They possess an arsenal of membrane-bound dehydrogenases in the periplasmic space that are capable of regiospecific and enantioselective partial oxidations of sugars, alcohols, and polyols. The resulting products are deposited directly into the medium where they are easily recovered for use as pharmaceutical precursors, industrial chemicals, food additives, and consumer products. Expression of extracytoplasmic enzymes to augment the oxidative capabilities of acetic acid bacteria is desired but is challenging due to the already crowded inner membrane. To this end, an original surface display system was developed to express recombinant enzymes at the outer membrane of the model acetic acid bacterium Gluconobacter oxydans. Outer membrane porin F (OprF) was used to deliver alkaline phosphatase (PhoA) to the cell surface. Constitutive high-strength p264 and moderate-strength p452 promoters were used to direct expression of the surface display system. This system was demonstrated for biocatalysis in whole-cell assays with the p264 promoter having a twofold increase in PhoA activity compared to the p452 promoter. Proteolytic cleavage of PhoA from the cell surface confirmed proper delivery to the outer membrane. Furthermore, a linker library was constructed to optimize surface display. A rigid (EAAAK)1 linker led to the greatest improvement, increasing PhoA activity by 69%. This surface display system could be used both to extend the capabilities of acetic acid bacteria in current biotechnological processes, and to broaden the potential of these microbes in the production of value-added products.

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© 2018 the authors. Distributed underCreative Commons CC-BY 4.0.


Biocatalysis, Fusion linkers, Gluconobacter oxydans, Outer membrane proteins, Surface display

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