Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 87, Issue 4, pp 1407–1414 | Cite as

Cloning, characterization, and engineering of fungal L-arabinitol dehydrogenases

  • Byoungjin Kim
  • Ryan P. Sullivan
  • Huimin ZhaoEmail author
Biotechnologically Relevant Enzymes and Proteins


L-Arabinitol 4-dehydrogenase (LAD) catalyzes the conversion of L-arabinitol to L-xylulose with concomitant NAD+ reduction in fungal L-arabinose catabolism. It is an important enzyme in the development of recombinant organisms that convert L-arabinose to fuels and chemicals. Here, we report the cloning, characterization, and engineering of four fungal LADs from Penicillium chrysogenum, Pichia guilliermondii, Aspergillus niger, and Trichoderma longibrachiatum, respectively. The LAD from P. guilliermondii was inactive, while the other three LADs were NAD+-dependent and showed high catalytic activities, with P. chrysogenum LAD being the most active. T. longibrachiatum LAD was the most thermally stable and showed the maximum activity in the temperature range of 55–65°C with the other LADs showed the maximum activity in the temperature range of 40–50°C. These LADs were active from pH 7 to 11 with an optimal pH of 9.4. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to alter the cofactor specificity of these LADs. In a T. longibrachiatum LAD mutant, the cofactor preference toward NADP+ was increased by 2.5 × 104-fold, whereas the cofactor preference toward NADP+ of the P. chrysogenum and A. niger LAD mutants was also drastically improved, albeit at the expense of significantly reduced catalytic efficiencies. The wild-type LADs and their mutants with altered cofactor specificity could be used to investigate the functionality of the fungal L-arabinose pathways in the development of recombinant organisms for efficient microbial L-arabinose utilization.


Arabinose fermentation Xylitol production Alcohol dehydrogenase Cofactor specificity Ethanol production 



This work was funded by the BP Energy Biosciences Institute.

Supplementary material

253_2010_2593_MOESM1_ESM.doc (68 kb)
ESM (DOC 68.5 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Byoungjin Kim
    • 1
  • Ryan P. Sullivan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Huimin Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Energy Biosciences InstituteUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Bioengineering, Institute for Genomic BiologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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