Removing allosteric feedback inhibition of tomato 4‐coumarate:CoA ligase by directed evolution
Plant secondary metabolites, such as those derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway, have a beneficial effect on human health. Manipulation of metabolic flux in the phenylpropanoid pathway is important for achieving enhanced production of compounds such as anthocyanins, flavonoids and isoflavonoids. Here, we describe the development of a high‐throughput molecular evolution approach that can be used for catalytic improvement of at least four key phenylpropanoid pathway enzymes, within the context of the metabolic pathway. This method uses yeast cells that express plant phenylpropanoid pathway enzymes, leading to formation of a colored intermediate that can be used as a readout in high‐throughput screening. Here we report the identification of improved tomato peel 4‐coumarate:CoA ligase variants using this approach. We found that the wild‐type enzyme is strongly allosterically inhibited by naringenin, a downstream product of the pathway. Surprisingly, at least two of the improved variants are completely insensitive to feedback inhibition by naringenin. We suggest that this inhibition is exerted through a unique and previously unrecognized allosteric domain.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel 2: Chemical Research Support, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Publication date: January 1, 2012