Engineered Repeat Proteins as Scaffolds to Assemble Multi-Enzyme Systems for Efficient Cell-Free Biosynthesis
Ledesma-Fernandez, Alba, Susana Velasco-Lozano, Javier Santiago-Arcos, Fernando López-Gallego, and Aitziber L. Cortajarena
Multi-enzymatic cascades with enzymes arranged in close-proximity through a protein scaffold can trigger a substrate channeling effect, allowing for efficient cofactor reuse with industrial potential. However, precise nanometric organization of enzymes challenges the design of scaffolds. In this study, we create a nanometrically organized multi-enzymatic system exploiting engineered Tetrapeptide Repeat Affinity Proteins (TRAPs) as scaffolding for biocatalysis. We genetically fuse TRAP domains and program them to selectively and orthogonally recognize peptide-tags fused to enzymes, which upon binding form spatially organized metabolomes. In addition, the scaffold encodes binding sites to selectively and reversibly sequester reaction intermediates like cofactors via electrostatic interactions, increasing their local concentration and, consequently, the catalytic efficiency. This concept is demonstrated for the biosynthesis of amino acids and amines using up to three enzymes. Scaffolded multi-enzyme systems present up to 5-fold higher specific productivity than the non-scaffolded ones. In-depth analysis suggests that channeling of NADH cofactor between the assembled enzymes enhances the overall cascade throughput and the product yield. Moreover, we immobilize this biomolecular scaffold on solid supports, creating reusable heterogeneous multi-functional biocatalysts for consecutive operational batch cycles. Our results demonstrate the potential of TRAP-scaffolding systems as spatial-organizing tools to increase the efficiency of cell-free biosynthetic pathways.
Tetrapeptide Repeat Affinity Proteins (TRAPs)