5-Hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP) is a naturally occurring aromatic amino acid present in the seeds of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia. Although 5-HTP has therapeutic effects in various symptoms, efficient method of producing 5-HTP has not been established. In this study, we developed a novel cofactor regeneration process to achieve enhanced synthesis of 5-HTP by using modified L-phenylalanine 4-hydroxylase of Chromobacterium violaceum. For the synthesis of 5-HTP using Escherichia coli whole cell bioconversion, L-tryptophan and 5-HTP degradation by E. coli endogenous catabolic enzymes should be considered. The tryptophanase gene was disrupted using the λ red recombination system, since tryptophanase is postulated as an initial enzyme for the degradation of L-tryptophan and 5-HTP in E. coli. For regeneration of the cofactor pterin, we screened and investigated several key enzymes, including dihydropteridine reductase from E. coli, glucose dehydrogenase from Bacillus subtilis, and pterin-4α-carbinolamine dehydratase from Pseudomonas syringae. Genes encoding these three enzymes were overexpressed in an E. coli tryptophanase-deficient host, resulting in the synthesis of 0.74 mM 5-HTP in the presence of 0.1 mM pterin and the synthesis of 0.07 mM 5-HTP in the absence of regeneration of pterin. These results clearly indicated the successful regeneration of pterin. Following optimization of the reaction conditions, 2.5 mM 5-HTP was synthesized with cofactor regeneration, while 0.8 mM 5-HTP was recovered without cofactor regeneration under the same reaction conditions, suggesting that the principle described here provides a new method for cofactor regeneration.
- Cofactor regeneration
- L-phenylalanine 4-hydroxylase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology