We have employed computational approaches—FireProt and FRESCO—to predict thermostable variants of the reductase component (C1) of (4-hydroxyphenyl)acetate 3-hydroxylase. With the additional aid of experimental results, two C1 variants, A166L and A58P, were identified as thermotolerant enzymes, with thermostability improvements of 2.6–5.6 °C and increased catalytic efficiency of 2- to 3.5-fold. After heat treatment at 45 °C, both of the thermostable C1 variants remain active and generate reduced flavin mononucleotide (FMNH−) for reactions catalyzed by bacterial luciferase and by the monooxygenase C2 more efficiently than the wild type (WT). In addition to thermotolerance, the A166L and A58P variants also exhibited solvent tolerance. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations (6 ns) at 300–500 K indicated that mutation of A166 to L and of A58 to P resulted in structural changes with increased stabilization of hydrophobic interactions, and thus in improved thermostability. Our findings demonstrated that improvements in the thermostability of C1 enzyme can lead to broad-spectrum uses of C1 as a redox biocatalyst for future industrial applications.
- computational chemistry
- thermostable enzymes