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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression in Escherichia coli, purification, and reactivation of the recombinant Erwinia uredovora phytoene desaturase.

A plasmid has been constructed by cloning the complete crtI gene encoding phytoene desaturase from Erwinia uredovora behind the lac Z promoter of pUC18 resulting in a reading frame for the full polypeptide with additional 9 amino acids at the N terminus. This plasmid mediated the overexpression of phytoene desaturase in transformed Escherichia coli. The overexpressed enzyme was sequestrated into inclusion bodies requiring urea treatment for solubilization. Purification to homogeneity was subsequently performed on a DEAE-cellulose column and by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The purification scheme allowed the isolation of 5.3 mg of homogeneous desaturase protein from 100 ml of E. coli cell suspension. On SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis an apparent molecular mass of 56.2 kDa was determined. An antiserum raised against phytoene desaturase cross-reacted with the expressed protein and was employed to monitor the isolation steps. Upon removal of urea, desaturase activity was restored. The isolated desaturase catalyzed the conversion of 15-cis-phytoene to trans-lycopene as well as to bisdehydrolycopene. FAD was involved in desaturation, whereas NAD and NADP were inhibitory. This is the first time that a membrane-integrated carotenogenic enzyme has been purified and finally obtained in an active state.[1]


  1. Expression in Escherichia coli, purification, and reactivation of the recombinant Erwinia uredovora phytoene desaturase. Fraser, P.D., Misawa, N., Linden, H., Yamano, S., Kobayashi, K., Sandmann, G. J. Biol. Chem. (1992) [Pubmed]
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