Biotechnology progress

Versatile signal peptide of Flavobacterium-originated organophosphorus hydrolase for efficient periplasmic translocation of heterologous proteins in Escherichia coli.

PMID 27071499


Organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH) from Flavobacterium species is a membrane-associated homodimeric metalloenzyme and has its own signal peptide in its N-terminus. We found that OPH was translocated into the periplasmic space when the original signal peptide-containing OPH was expressed in recombinant Escherichia coli even though its translocation efficiency was relatively low. To investigate the usability of this OPH signal peptide for periplasmic expression of heterologous proteins in an E. coli system, we employed green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a cytoplasmic folding reporter and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) as a periplasmic folding reporter. We found that the OPH signal peptide was able to use both twin-arginine translocation (Tat) and general secretory (Sec) machineries by switching translocation pathways according to the nature of target proteins in E. coli. These results might be due to the lack of Sec-avoidance sequence in the c-region and a moderate hydrophobicity of the OPH signal peptide. Interestingly, the OPH signal peptide considerably enhanced the translocation efficiencies for both GFP and ALP compared with commonly used TorA and PelB signal peptides that have Tat and Sec pathway dependences, respectively. Therefore, this OPH signal peptide could be successfully used in recombinant E. coli system for efficient periplasmic production of target protein regardless of the subcellular localization where functional folding of the protein occurs. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 32:848-854, 2016.