97 research outputs found

    Nature Inspired Solutions for Polymers: Will Cutinase Enzymes Make Polyesters and Polyamides Greener?

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    5siThe polymer and plastic sectors are under the urge of mitigating their environmental impact. The need for novel and more benign catalysts for polyester synthesis or targeted functionalization led, in recent years, to an increasing interest towards cutinases due to their natural ability to hydrolyze ester bonds in cutin, a natural polymer. In this review, the most recent advances in the synthesis and hydrolysis of various classes of polyesters and polyamides are discussed with a critical focus on the actual perspectives of applying enzymatic technologies for practical industrial purposes. More specifically, cutinase enzymes are compared to lipases and, in particular, to lipase B from Candida antarctica, the biocatalyst most widely employed in polymer chemistry so far. Computational and bioinformatics studies suggest that the natural role of cutinases in attacking natural polymers confer some essential features for processing also synthetic polyesters and polyamides.openopenFerrario, Valerio; Pellis, Alessandro; Cespugli, Marco; Guebitz, Georg; Gardossi, LuciaFerrario, Valerio; Pellis, Alessandro; Cespugli, Marco; Guebitz, Georg; Gardossi, Luci

    Synthetic enzymes for synthetic substrates

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    In recent years, hydrolases like cutinases, esterases and lipases have been recognized as powerful tools for hydrolysis of synthetic polymers such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as an environmentally friendly alternative for environmentally harmful chemical recycling methods1. PET is currently the most common type of aromatic polyester, with widespread application as packaging material, beverage bottles, and synthetic textile fibers. So far, cutinases have been the most active enzyme class regarding PET degradation. In nature, cutinases catalyze the hydrolysis of the aliphatic biopolyester cutin, the structural component of plant cuticle. Although cutinases are able to act on natural insoluble polyesters, their activities on non-natural substrates are quit low. For this reason, different engineering strategies were established to optimize “polyesterases” for synthetic polymers (Fig.1). Thereby, development of rationale enzyme-engineering strategies led to remarkable enhancement of hydrolytic activities on polyesters and clearly showed that the affinity between the enzyme and the substrate plays a key role in the enzymatic hydrolysis of synthetic polyester. Please click Additional Files below to see the full abstract

    Cutinase-Catalyzed Polyester-Polyurethane Degradation: Elucidation of the Hydrolysis Mechanism

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    open5siPolyurethanes (PU) are one of the most-used classes of synthetic polymers in Europe, having a considerable impact on the plastic waste management in the European Union. Therefore, they represent a major challenge for the recycling industry, which requires environmentally friendly strategies to be able to re-utilize their monomers without applying hazardous and polluting substances in the process. In this work, enzymatic hydrolysis of a polyurethane-polyester (PU-PE) copolymer using Humicola insolens cutinase (HiC) has been investigated in order to achieve decomposition at milder conditions and avoiding harsh chemicals. PU-PE films have been incubated with the enzyme at 50 degrees C for 168 h, and hydrolysis has been followed throughout the incubation. HiC effectively hydrolysed the polymer, reducing the number average molecular weight (M-n) and the weight average molecular weight (M-w) by 84% and 42%, respectively, as shown by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), while scanning electron microscopy showed cracks at the surface of the PU-PE films as a result of enzymatic surface erosion. Furthermore, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis showed a reduction in the peaks at 1725 cm(-1), 1164 cm(-1) and 1139 cm(-1), indicating that the enzyme preferentially hydrolysed ester bonds, as also supported by the nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) results. Liquid chromatography time-of-flight/mass spectrometry (LC-MS-Tof) analysis revealed the presence in the incubation supernatant of all of the monomeric constituents of the polymer, thus suggesting that the enzyme was able to hydrolyse both the ester and the urethane bonds of the polymer.openDi Bisceglie, Federico; Quartinello, Felice; Vielnascher, Robert; Guebitz, Georg M.; Pellis, AlessandroDi Bisceglie, Federico; Quartinello, Felice; Vielnascher, Robert; Guebitz, Georg M.; Pellis, Alessandr

    Enzymatic synthesis of biobased polyesters utilizing aromatic diols as the rigid component

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    In the present work, the biocatalyzed synthesis of a series of aromatic-aliphatic polyesters based on the aliphatic diesters dimethyl succinate, dimethyl adipate and dimethyl sebacate and the aromatic diols 2,5-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan, 3,4-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan and 2,6-pyridinedimethanol were investigated. A similar series of polyesters based on the petroleum-based 1,3-benzenedimethanol, 1,4-benzenedimethanol and 1,4-benzenediethanol were also synthesized for comparison. Data show that the enzymatic syntheses were successful starting from all diols, with the obtained polymers having isolated yields between 67 and over 90%, number average molecular weights between 3000 Da and 5000 Da and degree of polymerization (DP) of 6–18 (based on the used aliphatic diesters and aromatic diols) when polymerized in diphenyl ether as solvent. Only using 3,4-bis(hydroxymethyl)furan as the diol led to shorter oligomers with isolated yields around 50% and DPs of 3–5. DSC and TGA thermal analyses show clear correlation between polymer crystallinity and aliphatic carbon chain length of the diester

    Exploring mild enzymatic sustainable routes for the synthesis of bio-degradable aromatic-aliphatic oligoesters

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    The application of Candida antarctica lipase B in enzyme-catalyzed synthesis of aromatic-aliphatic oligoesters is here reported. The aim of the present study is to systematically investigate the most favorable conditions for the enzyme catalyzed synthesis of aromatic-aliphatic oligomers using commercially available monomers. Reaction conditions and enzyme selectivity for polymerization of various commercially available monomers were considered using different inactivated/activated aromatic monomers combined with linear polyols ranging from C2 to C12. The effect of various reaction solvents in enzymatic polymerization was assessed and toluene allowed to achieve the highest conversions for the reaction of dimethyl isophthalate with 1,4-butanediol and with 1,10-decanediol (88 and 87% monomer conversion respectively). Mw as high as 1512 Da was obtained from the reaction of dimethyl isophthalate with ,10-decanediol. The obtained oligomers have potential applications as raw materials in personal and home care formulations, for the production of aliphatic-aromatic block co-polymers or can be further functionalized with various moieties for a subsequent photo- or radical polymerization

    Thermal Upgrade of Enzymatically Synthesized Aliphatic and Aromatic Oligoesters

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    The enzymatic synthesis of polyesters in solventless systems is an environmentally friendly and sustainable method for synthetizing bio-derived materials. Despite the greenness of the technique, in most cases only short oligoesters are obtained, with limited practical applications or requiring further chemical processing for their elongation. In this work, we present a catalyst-free thermal upgrade of enzymatically synthesized oligoesters. Dierent aliphatic and aromatic oligoesters were synthesized using immobilized Candida antarctica lipase B (iCaLB) as the catalyst (70 C, 24 h) yielding poly(1,4-butylene adipate) (PBA, Mw = 2200), poly(1,4-butylene isophthalate) (PBI, Mw = 1000), poly(1,4-butylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate) (PBF, Mw = 600), and poly(1,4-butylene 2,4-pyridinedicarboxylate) (PBP, Mw = 1000). These polyesters were successfully thermally treated to obtain an increase in Mw of 8.5, 2.6, 3.3, and 2.7 folds, respectively. This investigation focused on the most successful upgrade, poly(1,4-butylene adipate), then discussed the possible eect of di-ester monomers as compared to di-acids in the thermally driven polycondensation. The herein-described two-step synthesis method represents a practical and cost-eective way to synthesize higher-molecular-weight polymers without the use of toxic metal catalysts such as titanium(IV) tert-butoxide, tin(II) 2-ethylhexanoate, and in particular, antimony(IV) oxide. At the same time, the method allows for the extension of the number of reuses of the biocatalyst by preventing its exposure to extreme denaturating conditions

    Structure-function analysis of two closely related cutinases from Thermobifida cellulosilytica

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    Cutinases can play a significant role in a biotechnology-based circular economy. However, relatively little is known about the structure–function relationship of these enzymes, knowledge that is vital to advance optimized, engineered enzyme candidates. Here, two almost identical cutinases from Thermobifida cellulosilytica DSM44535 (Thc_Cut1 and Thc_Cut2) with only 18 amino acids difference were used for a rigorous biochemical characterization of their ability to hydrolyze poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), PET-model substrates, and cutin-model substrates. Kinetic parameters were compared with detailed in silico docking studies of enzyme-ligand interactions. The two enzymes interacted with, and hydrolyzed PET differently, with Thc_Cut1 generating smaller PET-degradation products. Thc_Cut1 also showed higher catalytic efficiency on long-chain aliphatic substrates, an effect likely caused by small changes in the binding architecture. Thc_Cut2, in contrast, showed improved binding and catalytic efficiency when approaching the glass transition temperature of PET, an effect likely caused by longer amino acid residues in one area at the enzyme\u27s surface. Finally, the position of the single residue Q93 close to the active site, rotated out in Thc_Cut2, influenced the ligand position of a trimeric PET-model substrate. In conclusion, we illustrate that even minor sequence differences in cutinases can affect their substrate binding, substrate specificity, and catalytic efficiency drastically

    Effect of Binding Modules Fused to Cutinase on the Enzymatic Synthesis of Polyesters

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    open9In relation to the development of environmentally-friendly processing technologies for the continuously growing market of plastics, enzymes play an important role as green and sustainable biocatalysts. The present study reports the use of heterogeneous immobilized biocatalysts in solvent-free systems for the synthesis of aliphatic oligoesters with Mws and monomer conversions up to 1500 Da and 74%, respectively. To improve the accessibility of hydrophilic and hydrophobic substrates to the surface of the biocatalyst and improve the reaction kinetic and the chain elongation, two different binding modules were fused on the surface of cutinase 1 from Thermobifida cellulosilytica. The fusion enzymes were successfully immobilized (>99% of bound protein) via covalent bonding onto epoxy-activated beads. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example where fused enzymes are used to catalyze transesterification reactions for polymer synthesis purposes.openFerrario, Valerio; Todea, Anamaria; Wolansky, Lisa; Piovesan, Nicola; Guarneri, Alice; Ribitsch, Doris; Guebitz, Georg M.; Gardossi, Lucia; Pellis, AlessandroFerrario, Valerio; Todea, Anamaria; Wolansky, Lisa; Piovesan, Nicola; Guarneri, Alice; Ribitsch, Doris; Guebitz, Georg M.; Gardossi, Lucia; Pellis, Alessandr

    Semi-rational engineering of cellobiose dehydrogenase for improved hydrogen peroxide production

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    Abstract Background The ability of fungal cellobiose dehydrogenase (CDH) to generate H2O2 in-situ is highly interesting for biotechnological applications like cotton bleaching, laundry detergents or antimicrobial functionalization of medical devices. CDH’s ability to directly use polysaccharide derived mono- and oligosaccharides as substrates is a considerable advantage compared to other oxidases such as glucose oxidase which are limited to monosaccharides. However CDH’s low activity with oxygen as electron acceptor hampers its industrial use for H2O2 production. A CDH variant with increased oxygen reactivity is therefore of high importance for biotechnological application. Uniform expression levels and an easy to use screening assay is a necessity to facilitate screening for CDH variants with increased oxygen turnover. Results A uniform production and secretion of active Myriococcum thermophilum CDH was obtained by using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as expression host. It was found that the native secretory leader sequence of the cdh gene gives a 3 times higher expression than the prepro leader of the yeast α-mating factor. The homogeneity of the expression in 96-well deep-well plates was good (variation coefficient <15%). A high-throughput screening assay was developed to explore saturation mutagenesis libraries of cdh for improved H2O2 production. A 4.5-fold increase for variant N700S over the parent enzyme was found. For production, N700S was expressed in P. pastoris and purified to homogeneity. Characterization revealed that not only the kcat for oxygen turnover was increased in N700S (4.5-fold), but also substrate turnover. A 3-fold increase of the kcat for cellobiose with alternative electron acceptors indicates that mutation N700S influences the oxidative- and reductive FAD half-reaction. Conclusions Site-directed mutagenesis and directed evolution of CDH is simplified by the use of S. cerevisiae instead of the high-yield-host P. pastoris due to easier handling and higher transformation efficiencies with autonomous plasmids. Twelve clones which exhibited an increased H2O2 production in the subsequent screening were all found to carry the same amino acid exchange in the cdh gene (N700S). The sensitive location of the five targeted amino acid positions in the active site of CDH explains the high rate of variants with decreased or entirely abolished activity. The discovery of only one beneficial exchange indicates that a dehydrogenase’s oxygen turnover is a complex phenomenon and the increase therefore not an easy target for protein engineering.The authors thank the European Commission (FP7 243529-2-COTTONBLEACH) for financial support. CKP thanks the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) for financial support (grant P22094). IK is a member of the doctoral program BioToP (Biomolecular Technology of Proteins) of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF; W1224). MA thanks the Spanish Government for financial support (BIO2010-19697).Peer Reviewe

    Mechanistic investigation of the effect of endoglucanases related to pulp refining

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    Endoglucanases are increasingly being touted as the ultimate solution for reducing energy consumption during the refining process in the pulp and paper industry. However, due to the high variety of endoglucanases in different enzyme formulations, these perform heterogeneously when applied to different pulps. In this study, the effect of four endoglucanases on softwood and hardwood pulp was studied using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) after addition of fluorescently labelled carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs). Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis and high-performance liquid chromatography quantification of released oligo- and monosaccharides was performed for in-depth mechanistical investigation. Changes in the crystallinity levels caused by enzymatic degradation of amorphous regions were monitored by incubation with two different CBMs from Caldicellulosiruptor bescii and from Thermobifida fusca with high preference to either amorphous or crystalline regions of cellulose, respectively. When dosed at identical activity on the endoglucanase specific CellG5 substrate, CLSM analysis indicated the highest decrease of amorphous regions for those endoglucanases which were also most active in laboratory refining trials and which released highest amounts of cellooligomers from pulp. Using 13C-NMR analysis, an increase in para-crystalline cellulose caused by enzyme application was observed. Release of reducing sugars was determined at identical CellG5 dosage, indicating a high variance between the enzymes, especially when complex enzyme formulations were used. Scanning electron microscopy images were obtained for visualization of the endoglucanase activity. The results of mechanistical studies indicate that reduction of amorphous moieties of pulp by endoglucanases is especially beneficial for the refining proces
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