Cloning and expression of a gene encoding cyanidase from Pseudomonas stutzeri AK61
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The gene coding for cyanidase, which catalyzes the hydrolysis of cyanide to formate and ammonia, was cloned from chromosomal DNA of Pseudomonas stutzeri AK61 into Escherichia coli. The cyanidase gene consisted of an open reading frame of 1004 bp, and it was predicted that cyanidase was composed of 334 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 37 518 Da. The amino acid sequence of cyanidase showed a 35.1% and 26.4% homology to aliphatic nitrilase from Rhodococcus rhodochrous K22 and cyanide hydratase from Fusarium lateritium, respectively. A unique cysteine residue of aliphatic nitrilase, which was suggested to play an essential role in the catalytic activity, was conserved in cyanidase. The active form of cyanidase was successfully expressed by a DNA clone containing the cyanidase gene in E.coli. Its productivity was approximately 230 times larger than that of P. stutzeri AK61. The characteristics of the expressed cyanidase, including optimum pH, optimum temperature, Michaelis constant (Km) for cyanide and specific activity, were similar to those of the native enzyme from P. stutzeri AK61.
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