, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 102-109
Date: 08 Feb 2005

Isolation, Characterization, and Heterologous Expression of a Carboxylesterase of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1

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We purified to homogeneity an intracellular esterase from the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. The enzyme hydrolyzes p-nitrophenyl acetate and other acetylated substrates. The N-terminal amino acid sequence was analyzed and 11 residues, SEPLILDAPNA, were determined. The corresponding gene PA3859 was identified in the P. aeruginosa PAO1 genome as the only gene encoding for a protein with this N-terminus. The encoding gene was cloned in Escherichia coli, and the recombinant protein expressed and purified to homogeneity. According to sodium dodecyl sulfate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis and analytical gel filtration chromatography, the esterase was found to be a monomer of approximately 24 kDa. The experimentally determined isoelectric point was 5.2 and the optimal enzyme activity was at 55°C and at pH 9.0. The esterase preferentially hydrolyzed short-chain fatty acids. It is inhibited by phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF) but not by ethylendiaminotetraacetic acid (EDTA). Native enzyme preparations typically showed a Michaelis constant (K m ) and V max of 0.43 mM and 12,500 U mg−1, respectively, using p-nitrophenyl acetate as substrate. Homology-based database searches clearly revealed the presence of the consensus GXSXG signature motif that is present in the serine-dependent acylhydrolase protein family.