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Probing a cDNA library extracted from Pogostemon cablin (Indian Patchouli) with gene specific primers, a variant of patchoulol synthase PTS (GenBank acc. No.: AY508730) was amplified, cloned, and sequenced. The amino acid sequence deduced from the cloned cDNA exhibited a sequence variation of 3.4% compared to the annotated sequence. The enzyme variant tended to form inclusion bodies when expressed in Escherichia coli. The coding sequence was fused to the T7-tag, His-tag and to thioredoxin. Constructs were expressed in three different E. coli expression strains, with several strain/construct combinations yielding soluble enzyme. By fusion to thioredoxin and careful codon optimization of the eukaryotic sequence, soluble expression could be improved on average by 42% in comparison to an unoptimized, His-tagged construct. The thioredoxin-fused protein was successfully purified using a one-step Co(2+)-IMAC purification procedure. Bioactivity assays using prepared farnesyl diphosphate (FDP) in milliliter-scale batch reactions, showed activity of the fused enzyme even with thioredoxin attached. The product spectrum of the enzyme was compared to patchouli oil standards by GC-MS and the main products were identified. Interestingly, the variant showed a shift in product spectrum with germacrene A being the most abundant product instead of patchouli alcohol. In silico structural modeling shows a possible chemical and structural change in the active site of the enzyme, which might be responsible for the shift in product composition. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.


S Hartwig, T Frister, S Alemdar, Z Li, U Krings, R G Berger, T Scheper, S Beutel. Expression, purification and activity assay of a patchoulol synthase cDNA variant fused to thioredoxin in Escherichia coli. Protein expression and purification. 2014 May;97:61-71

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PMID: 24576659

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