Directed evolution of a thermostable phosphite dehydrogenase for NAD(P)H regeneration

Tyler W. Johannes, Ryan D. Woodyer, Huimin Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


NAD(P)H-dependent oxidoreductases are valuable tools for synthesis of chiral compounds. The expense of the cofactors, however, requires in situ cofactor regeneration for preparative applications. We have attempted to develop an enzymatic system based on phosphite dehydrogenase (PTDH) from Pseudomonas stutzeri to regenerate the reduced nicotinamide cofactors NADH and NADPH. Here we report the use of directed evolution to address one of the main limitations with the wild-type PTDH enzyme, its low stability. After three rounds of random mutagenesis and high-throughput screening, 12 thermostabilizing amino acid substitutions were identified. These 12 mutations were combined by site-directed mutagenesis, resulting in a mutant whose T50 is 20°C higher and half-life of thermal inactivation at 45°C is >7,000-fold greater than that of the parent PTDH. The engineered PTDH has a half-life at 50°C that is 2.4-fold greater than the Candida boidinii formate dehydrogenase, an enzyme widely used for NADH regeneration. In addition, its catalytic efficiency is slightly higher than that of the parent PTDH. Various mechanisms of thermostabilization were identified using molecular modeling. The improved stability and effectiveness of the final mutant were shown using the industrially important bioconversion of trimethylpyruvate to L-tert-leucine. The engineered PTDH will be useful in NAD(P)H regeneration for industrial biocatalysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5728-5734
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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