Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 129–136 | Cite as

A non-specific nucleolytic enzyme and its application potential in EDTA-containing buffer solutions

  • Sarah Schmitz
  • Volker Nölle
  • Skander Elleuche
Original Research Paper



Metal-ion independent non-specific nucleases are of high potential for applications in EDTA-containing bioprocessing workflows.


A novel extracellular non-specific nuclease EcNuc from the enterobacterium Escherichia coli has been identified. The recombinant gene was expressed and the protein was purified. Maximum activity of the enzyme was detected at 41.7 °C and at an acidic pH of 5.8. EcNuc tolerates EDTA in the reaction buffer at concentrations of up to 20 mM and the activity is not impaired by high concentrations of mono- and divalent metal ions in the absence of EDTA. The viscosity of crude protein extracts after cell lysis in EDTA-containing buffers is reduced when supplemented with EcNuc.


Proof-of-concept has been demonstrated that a metal-ion independent non-specific nuclease can be applied for removal of nucleic acids in EDTA-containing buffers for the subsequent purification of proteins from crude extracts.


Biotechnological application DNase EDTA RNase 



We thank Stefan Edelburg for the help with the VICTOR™ X4 Multilabel Plate Reader.

Supporting information

Supplementary Figure 1—Codon usage optimized nucleotide sequence of EcNuc without predicted signal peptide. The deduced amino acid sequence is indicated below in 1-letter amino acid code.

Supplementary Table 1—Purification of recombinant EcNuc after expression in E. coli Veggie BL21 (DE3).

Supplementary material

10529_2018_2618_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (105 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 105 kb)
10529_2018_2618_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (10 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Miltenyi Biotec GmbHBergisch GladbachGermany

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