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Phase-Separated Multienzyme Biosynthesis

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journal contribution
posted on 07.05.2020, 09:04 by Miao Liu, Sicong He, Lixin Cheng, Jianan Qu, Jiang Xia
Liquid–liquid phase separation forms condensates that feature a highly concentrated liquid phase, a defined yet dynamic boundary, and dynamic exchange at and across the boundary. Phase transition drives the formation of dynamic multienzyme complexes in cells, for example, the purinosome, which forms subcellular macrobodies responsible for de novo purine biosynthesis. Here, we construct synthetic versions of multienzyme biosynthetic systems by assembling enzymes in protein condensates. A synthetic protein phase separation system using component proteins from postsynaptic density in neuronal synapses, GKAP, Shank, and Homer provides the scaffold for assembly. Three sets of guest proteins: a pair of fluorescent proteins (CFP and YFP), three sequential enzymes in menaquinone biosynthesis pathway (MenF, MenD, and MenH), and two enzymes in terpene biosynthesis pathway (Idi and IspA) are assembled via peptide–peptide interactions in the condensate. First, we discover that coassembly of CFP and YFP exhibited a broad distribution of the FRET signal within the condensate. Second, a spontaneous enrichment of the rate-limiting enzyme MenD in the condensate is sufficient to increase the 2-succinyl-6-hydroxy-2,4-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylate production rate by 70%. Third, coassembly of both Idi and IspA in the protein condensate increases the farnesyl pyrophosphate production rate by more than 50%. Altogether, we show here that phase separation significantly accelerates the efficiency of multienzyme biocatalysis.