European journal of biochemistry

Characterization of a recombinant bifunctional enzyme, galactose dehydrogenase/bacterial luciferase, displaying an improved bioluminescence in a three-enzyme system.

PMID 1740135


The two structural genes encoding galactose dehydrogenase (Pseudomonas fluorescens) and the beta subunit of luciferase (Vibrio harveyi) were fused in-frame in order to prepare and subsequently characterize an artificial bifunctional enzyme complex. This hybrid enzyme exhibited both galactose dehydrogenase activity and bioluminescence when expressed in Escherichia coli together with the alpha subunit of luciferase. The purified conjugate was used to study possible proximity effects in a sequential three-enzyme reaction with the bifunctional enzyme catalyzing the first and the last reaction. The intermediate enzyme, diaphorase, was added separately. The engineered enzyme system, comprising the galactose dehydrogenase/luciferase conjugate, could display a twofold higher bioluminescence in the overall enzyme reaction compared to a corresponding reference system with separate native enzymes. The increased bioluminescence obtained for the engineered enzyme system is proposed to be due to an improved organization of the enzyme in solution.