Engineering of Aerococcus viridans l-Lactate Oxidase for Site-Specific PEGylation: Characterization and Selective Bioorthogonal Modification of a S218C Mutant
journal contributionposted on 18.07.2012, 00:00 by Birgit Unterweger, Thomas Stoisser, Stefan Leitgeb, Ruth Birner-Grünberger, Bernd Nidetzky
A defined bioconjugate of Aerococcus viridans l-lactate oxidase and poly(ethylene glycol) 5000 was prepared and characterized in its structural and functional properties in comparison to the unmodified enzyme. Because the l-lactate oxidase in the native form does not contain cysteines, we introduced a new site for chemical modification via thiol chemistry by substituting the presumably surface-exposed serine-218, a nonconserved residue in the amino acid sequence, with cysteine. The resulting S218C mutant was isolated from Escherichia coli and shown in kinetic assays to be similarly (i.e., about half as) active as the native enzyme, thus validating the structure-guided design of the mutation. Using maleimide-activated methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) 5000 in about 10-fold molar excess over protein, the S218C mutant was converted in high yield (94%) into PEGylated derivative, while the native enzyme was totally unreactive under equivalent conditions. PEGylation caused only a relatively small decrease (30%) in the specific activity of the S218C mutant, and it did not change the protein stability. PEGylation went along with enhancement of the apparent size of the homotetrameric l-lactate oxidase in gel permeation chromatography, from 170 kDa to 250 kDa. The protein hydrodynamic diameter determined by dynamic light scattering increased from 11.9 nm in unmodified S218C mutant to 16.4 nm in the PEGylated form. Site-selective PEGylation of the mutated l-lactate oxidase, using orthogonal maleimide–thiol coupling, could therefore facilitate incorporation of the enzyme into biosensors currently employed for determination of blood l-lactate levels, and it could also support different applications of the enzyme in applied biocatalysis.