Functional Characterization and Structural Modeling of a Novel Glycine Oxidase from Variovorax paradoxus Iso1

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2022 Dec 13;88(23):e0107722. doi: 10.1128/aem.01077-22. Epub 2022 Nov 15.


The N-acyl-d-amino acid amidohydrolase (N-d-AAase) of Variovorax paradoxus Iso1 can enantioselectively catalyze the zinc-assisted deacetylation of N-acyl-d-amino acids to yield consistent d-amino acids. A putative FAD-binding glycine/d-amino acid oxidase was located immediately upstream of the N-d-AAase gene. The gene encoding this protein was cloned into Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3)pLysS and overexpressed at 25°C for 6 h with 0.5 mM isopropyl β-d-1-thiogalactopyranoside induction. After purification, the tag-free recombinant protein was obtained. The enzyme could metabolize glycine, sarcosine, and d-alanine, but not l-amino acids or bulky d-amino acids. Protein modeling further supported these results, demonstrating that glycine, sarcosine, and d-alanine could fit into the pocket of the enzyme's activation site, while l-alanine and d-threonine were out of position. Therefore, this protein was proposed as a glycine oxidase, and we designated it VpGO. Interestingly, VpGO showed low sequence similarity to other well-characterized glycine oxidases. We found that VpGO and N-d-AAase were expressed on the same mRNA and could be transcriptionally induced by various N-acetyl-d-amino acids. Western blotting and zymography showed that both proteins had similar expression patterns in response to different types of inducers. Thus, we have identified a novel glycine oxidase that is co-regulated with N-d-AAase in an operon, and metabolizes N-acyl-d-amino acids in the metabolically versatile V. paradoxus Iso1. IMPORTANCE The Gram-negative bacterium Variovorax paradoxus has numerous metabolic capabilities, including the association with important catabolic processes and the promotion of plant growth. We had previously identified and characterized an N-acyl-d-amino-acid amidohydrolase (N-d-AAase) gene from the strain of V. paradoxus Iso1. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize (both in vitro and in vivo) another potential gene found in the promoter region of this N-d-AAase gene. The protein was identified as a glycine oxidase, and the gene existed in an operon with N-d-AAase. The structural basis for its FAD-binding potential and substrate stereo-specificity were also elucidated. This study first reported a novel glycine oxidase from V. paradoxus. We believe that our study makes a significant contribution to the literature, because this enzyme has great potential for use as an industrial catalysis, as a biosensor, and in agricultural biotechnology.

Keywords: N-acyl-d-amino acid amidohydrolase; Variovorax paradoxus; glycine oxidase; molecular modeling; substrate specificity.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine
  • Amidohydrolases / genetics
  • Amino Acids
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Flavin-Adenine Dinucleotide* / metabolism
  • Sarcosine*
  • Substrate Specificity


  • glycine oxidase
  • Flavin-Adenine Dinucleotide
  • Sarcosine
  • Amidohydrolases
  • Amino Acids
  • Alanine

Supplementary concepts

  • Variovorax paradoxus