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Stereospecific production of the herbicide phosphinothricin (glufosinate) by transamination: cloning, characterization, and overexpression of the gene encoding a phosphinothricin-specific transaminase from Escherichia coli

Stereospecific production of the herbicide phosphinothricin (glufosinate) by transamination: cloning, characterization, and overexpression of the gene encoding a phosphinothricin-specific transaminase from Escherichia coli

Applied and Environmental Microbiology 56(1): 7-12

ISSN/ISBN: 0099-2240

PMID: 2178553

We have cloned the gene encoding a 43-kilodalton tranaminase from Escherichia coli K-12 with a specificity for L-phosphinothricin [L-homoalanine-4-yl-(methyl)phosphinic acid], the active ingredient of the herbicide Basta (Hoechst AG). The structural gene was isolated, together with its own promoter, and shown to be localized on a 1.6-kilobase DraI-BamHI fragment. The gene is subject to catabolite repression by glucose; however, repression could be relieved completely when 4-aminobutyrate (GABA) served as the sole nitrogen source. The regulation pattern obtained and a comparison of the restriction map of the initially cloned 15-kilobase SalI fragment with the physical map of the E. coli K-12 genome suggested that the cloned gene is identical with gapT, a locus on the gab gene cluster of E. coli K-12 which codes for the GABA: 2-ketoglutarate transminase (EC A number of expression plamids carrying the isolated transaminase gene were constructed. With the constructs, the transaminase expression in transformants of E. coli could be increased up to 80-fold compared with that in a wild-type control, and the transaminase constituted up to 20% of the total soluble protein of the bacteria. Thus, the protein crude extracts of the transformants could be used, after a simple heat precipitation step, for the biotechnological production of L-phosphinothricin in an enzyme reactor.

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Accession: 007819271

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