Enzyme instability is an important limitation for the investigation and application of enzymes. Therefore, methods to rapidly and effectively improve enzyme stability are highly appealing. In this study we applied a computational method (FRESCO) to guide the engineering of an alcohol dehydrogenase. Of the 177 selected mutations, 25 mutations brought about a significant increase in apparent melting temperature (ΔTm ≥ +3 °C). By combining mutations, a 10-fold mutant was generated with a Tm of 94 °C (+51 °C relative to wild type), almost reaching water's boiling point, and the highest increase with FRESCO to date. The 10-fold mutant's structure was elucidated, which enabled the identification of an activity-impairing mutation. After reverting this mutation, the enzyme showed no loss in activity compared to wild type, while displaying a Tm of 88 °C (+45 °C relative to wild type). This work demonstrates the value of enzyme stabilization through computational library design.
Keywords: E. coli; alcohol dehydrogenase; biocatalysis; biotechnology; cofactor; computational biology; enzyme engineering; molecular biophysics; oxidations; structural biology; systems biology.
© 2020, Aalbers et al.