An open reading frame CC1225 from the Caulobacter crescentus CB15 genome sequence belongs to the Gfo/Idh/MocA protein family and has 47 % amino acid sequence identity with the glucose-fructose oxidoreductase from Zymomonas mobilis (Zm GFOR). We expressed the ORF CC1225 in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and used a yeast strain expressing the gene coding for Zm GFOR as a reference. Cell extracts of strains overexpressing CC1225 (renamed as Cc aaor) showed some Zm GFOR type of activity, producing D-gluconate and D-sorbitol when a mixture of D-glucose and D-fructose was used as substrate. However, the activity in Cc aaor expressing strain was >100-fold lower compared to strains expressing Zm gfor. Interestingly, C. crescentus AAOR was clearly more efficient than the Zm GFOR in converting in vitro a single sugar substrate D-xylose (10 mM) to xylitol without an added cofactor, whereas this type of activity was very low with Zm GFOR. Furthermore, when cultured in the presence of D-xylose, the S. cerevisiae strain expressing Cc aaor produced nearly equal concentrations of D-xylonate and xylitol (12.5 g D-xylonate l-1 and 11.5 g D-xylitol l-1 from 26 g D-xylose l-1), whereas the control strain and strain expressing Zm gfor produced only D-xylitol (5 g l-1). Deletion of the gene encoding the major aldose reductase, Gre3p, did not affect xylitol production in the strain expressing Cc aaor, but decreased xylitol production in the strain expressing Zm gfor. In addition, expression of Cc aaor together with the D-xylonolactone lactonase encoding the gene xylC from C. crescentus slightly increased the final concentration and initial volumetric production rate of both D-xylonate and D-xylitol. These results suggest that C. crescentus AAOR is a novel type of oxidoreductase able to convert the single aldose substrate D-xylose to both its oxidized and reduced product.
- D-Xylonic acid
- Glucose-fructose oxidoreductase