Naeema Mohseni Sani, Mahbubeh Talaee, Ali Akbari, Faranak Ashoori, Javad Zamani, Ali A. Kermani, Hossein Shahbani Zahiri, John Presley, Hojatollah Vali, Kambiz Akbari Noghabi

Unveiling the structure-emulsifying function relationship of truncated recombinant forms of the SA01-OmpA protein opens up a new vista in bioemulsifiers

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Genetics
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Ecology
  • Physiology

ABSTRACT The emulsifying ability of SA01-OmpA (outer membrane protein A from Acinetobacter sp. SA01) was found to be constrained by challenges like low production efficiency and high costs associated with protein recovery from E. coli inclusion bodies, as described in our previous study. The present study sought to benefit from the advantages of the targeted truncating of SA01-OmpA protein, taking into account the reduced propensity of protein expression as inclusion bodies and cytotoxicity. Here, the structure and activity relationship of two truncated recombinant forms of SA01-OmpA protein was unraveled through a hybrid approach based on experimental data and computational methodologies, representing an innovative bioemulsifier with advantageous emulsifying activity. The recombinant truncated SA01-OmpA variants were cloned and heterologously expressed in E. coli host cells and subsequently purified. The results showed increased emulsifying activity of N-terminally truncated SA01-OmpA (NT-OmpA) compared to full-length SA01-OmpA. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations analysis demonstrated a direct correlation between the C-terminally truncated SA01-OmpA (CT-OmpA) and its expression as inclusion bodies. Analysis of the structure-activity relationship of truncated variants of SA01-OmpA revealed that, compared to the full-length protein, deletion of the β-barrel portion from the N-terminal of SA01-OmpA increased the emulsifying activity of NT-OmpA while lowering its expression as inclusion bodies. Contrary to the full-length protein, the N-terminally truncated SA01-OmpA was not as cytotoxic, according to the MTT assay, FCM analysis, and AO/EB staining. The findings of this extensive study advance our knowledge of SA01-OmpA at the molecular level as well as the design and development of efficient bioemulsifiers. IMPORTANCE Previous research (Shahryari et al. 2021, mSystems 6: e01175-20) introduced and characterized the SA01-OmpA protein as a multifaceted protein with a variety of functions, including maintaining cellular homeostasis under oxidative stress conditions, biofilm formation, outer membrane vesicles (OMV) biogenesis, and beneficial emulsifying capacity. By truncating the SA01-OmpA protein, the current study presents a unique method for developing protein-type bioemulsifiers. The findings indicate that the N-terminally truncated SA01-OmpA (NT-OmpA) has the potential to fully replace full-length SA01-OmpA as a novel bioemulsifier with significant emulsifying activity. This study opens up a new frontier in bioemulsifiers, shedding light on a possible relationship between the structure and activity of SA01-OmpA truncated forms.

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