(19)
(11)EP 3 253 868 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
29.01.2020 Bulletin 2020/05

(21)Application number: 15816319.6

(22)Date of filing:  04.12.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
C12N 9/10  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2015/063841
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/090192 (09.06.2016 Gazette  2016/23)

(54)

COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS COMPRISING THE USE OF A BACILLUS AGARADHAERENS INULOSUCRASE (INOU)

ZUSAMMENSETZUNGEN UND VERFAHREN MIT VERWENDUNG EINER BACILLUS-AGARADHAERENS-INULOSUCRASE (INOU)

COMPOSITION ET PROCÉDÉS COMPRENANT L'UTILISATION D'UNE INULOSUCRASE (INUO) DE BACILLUS AGARADHAERENS


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 05.12.2014 US 201462088320 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
13.12.2017 Bulletin 2017/50

(73)Proprietor: Danisco US Inc.
Palo Alto, California 94304 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • KRALJ, Slavko
    Palo Alto, California 94304 (US)
  • KOLKMAN, Marc
    Palo Alto, California 94304 (US)
  • LEEFLANG, Chris
    Palo Alto, California 94304 (US)
  • DE NOBEL, Johannes G.
    Palo Alto, California 94304 (US)
  • HOEKSTRA, Arjen
    Palo Alto, California 94304 (US)
  • ALKAN, Veli
    Palo Alto, California 94304 (US)

(74)Representative: D Young & Co LLP 
120 Holborn
London EC1N 2DY
London EC1N 2DY (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
  
  • DATABASE UniProt [Online] EMBL; 14 October 2015 (2015-10-14), Vilo C. et al.: ""Draft Genome Sequence of a Bacillus Bacterium from the Atacama Desert Wetlands Metagenome.", XP002756350, retrieved from EBI accession no. UniProt:A0A0J5GNX9 Database accession no. A0A0J5GNX9
  • WADA T ET AL: "A novel enzyme of Bacillus sp. 217C-11 that produces inulin from sucrose", BIOSCIENCE BIOTECHNOLOGY BIOCHEMISTRY, JAPAN SOCIETY FOR BIOSCIENCE, BIOTECHNOLOGY, AND AGROCHEMISTRY, TOKYO, JAPAN, vol. 67, no. 6, 1 June 2003 (2003-06-01), pages 1327-1334, XP002277857, ISSN: 0916-8451, DOI: 10.1271/BBB.67.1327
  • DATABASE UniProt [Online] NCBI; 28 May 2013 (2013-05-28), "Glycosyl hydrolase family 68, includes levansucrase, beta-fructofuranosidase and inulosucrase;cd08997"", Database accession no. WP_010502856
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0001] An isolated and/or purified inulosucrase from Bacillus agaradhearens, recombinantly engineered variants thereof, active fragments thereof, synthetic nucleic acids encoding the inulosucrase and variants thereof, host cells comprising the synthetic nucleic acids, and compositions comprising the inulosucrase are provided. Methods of using the compositions include the manufacture of inulooligosaccharides.

BACKGROUND



[0002] Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) of the inulin type, inulooligosaccharides (IOS), are gaining increased attention due to their beneficial health effects. Short chain FOS of the inulin type and inulin-type fructans are of interest due to their demonstrated pronounced in vitro prebiotic effect, i.e., as food sources for beneficial bacteria. Inulin also is used in the food industry as fat replacer, and for providing texture and stability in several products, such as desserts, bakery, and fermented dairy products, as well as infant formula.

[0003] IOS comprises a sucrose molecule elongated by a chain of fructosyl units with β-(2→1) linkages between the fructose units. IOS polymers contain repeating units with the generic structure, GFn, where "G" refers to a glucose molecule and "Fn" to the number of fructose units. Examples include 1-kestose (GF2), 1-nystose (GF3), and 1F-fructofuranosyl-nystose (GF4). IOS polymers from plants, for example, generally contain 30-50 fructosyl units.

[0004] Fructosyltransferases (FTases) produced by plants, fungi, and bacteria catalyze the synthesis of FOS. FTases belong to clan GH-J enzymes, which contains the glycoside hydrolase 32 (GH32) and glycoside hydrolase 68 (GH68) families. About ninety-one FTase protein amino acid sequences within the GH32 and GH68 families are currently known. The GH32 and GH68 families share a five bladed β-propeller fold, each consisting of four antiparallel β-strands, together forming a central negatively charged cavity. The sequences are grouped in five plant clades, one fungal clade, and one bacterial clade. See Alméciga-Díaz et al. (2011) "Computational analysis of the fructosyltransferase enzymes in plants, fungi and bacteria." Gene 484:26-34. FTases of the GH68 family polymerize the fructose moiety of their substrate sucrose into fructans. FTases include both inulosucrases and levansucrases. Generally, inulosucrases catalyze polymerization through β-(2→1) linkages, and levansucrases catalyze polymerization by β-(2→6) linkages. Inulosucrases catalyze a chemical reaction that results both in further polymerization through β-(2→1) linkages and in the generation of glucose:

        sucrose + (2,1-β-D-fructosyl)n ⇄ glucose + (2,1-β-D-fructosyl)n+1.



[0005] A relatively low number of the known FTase enzymes have been identified as inulosucrases (EC 2.4.1.9). Inulosucrase enzymes and encoding genes identified so far are mainly present in lactic acid bacteria: Lactobacillus gasseri strains, Streptococcus mutans, Leuconostoc citreum CW28, Lactobacillus johnsonii NCC 533, L. reuteri 121, and L. reuteri TMW1.106. The characterized inulosucrase enzymes and genes from the GH68 family synthesize large inulin polymers. For example, the L. reuteri 121 INU inulosucrase synthesizes inulin polymers over 1 × 107 Da in size; the L. jonsonii INUJ inulosucrase synthesizes inulin polymers about 4 × 107 Da in size; and the S. mutans GS-5 inulosucrase synthesizes inulin polymers about 7 × 107 Da in size. While the inulin polymers synthesized by these enzymes are large, the inulin oligosaccharides have a relatively small GF range of GF2-GF6. A fructansucrase enzyme from Bacillus sp. 217C-11 has been biochemically characterized. The Bacillus enzyme synthesizes only IOS with a GF range of GF10-GF25 and a peak at GF16-GF17. See Wada et al. (2003) "A novel enzyme of Bacillus sp. 217C-11 that produces inulin from sucrose." Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 67: 1327-1334.

SUMMARY



[0006] Bacillus agaradhaerens strain WDG185 expresses an inulosucrase that efficiently synthesizes a broad range of IOS with a GF range of GF3-GF30. The isolated and/or purified inulosucrase, recombinantly engineered variants thereof, active fragments thereof, synthetic nucleic acids encoding the inulosucrase, its variants, or its active fragments, host cells comprising the synthetic nucleic acids, and compositions comprising the inulosucrase are provided. Methods of using the compositions include the manufacture of inulooligosaccharides.

[0007] Accordingly, provided is an isolated, recombinantly expressed inulosucrase from Bacillus agaradhaerens (INUO) comprising a polypeptide consisting of amino acids 32-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4, a recombinantly engineered variant thereof, or an active fragment thereof, wherein the variant is able to catalyze polymerization of inulin oligosaccharides containing β-(2→1) linkages, and wherein the variant has at least 60% sequence identity with amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4. The inulosucrase comprising the polypeptide consisting of amino acids 32-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4 may comprise at least one amino acid not normally associated with naturally occurring INUO from Bacillus agaradhaerens strain WDG185 (SEQ ID NO: 4). The recombinantly engineered variant may have at least 80%, at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or at least 98% sequence identity with amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4. Alternatively, the recombinantly engineered variant may have at least 99% or at least 99.5% sequence identity with amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4. The amino acid residues of the recombinantly engineered variant that are not identical to amino acids 32-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4 may be selected from conservative amino acid substitutions or deletions from either the C- or N-termini. The amino acid sequence of the recombinantly engineered variant may comprise a sequence identical to amino acids 79-393 of SEQ ID NO: 4.

[0008] A composition comprising the inulosucrase is also provided. The inulosucrase may be in a lyophilized powder form, an encapsulated form, a coated form, a granulated form, or a liquid formulation. The composition may further comprise a diluent.

[0009] Also provided are (1) a synthetic nucleic acid encoding the inulosucrase; (2) a vector comprising the synthetic nucleic acid; and (3) a host cell comprising the synthetic nucleic acid or the vector. The vector may be an expression vector. The vector may comprise a polynucleotide consisting of the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NO: 3. In one embodiment, the host cell may comprise the polynucleotide consisting of the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NO: 3. In another embodiment, a host cell that is not Bacillus agaradhaerens may comprise the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NO: 3. Further provided is a composition comprising the host cell and a food-grade, feed-grade, industrial-grade, or pharmacologically acceptable carrier, diluent, or excipient. A method of using the composition may comprise administering the composition to an individual, wherein the composition is capable of acting as a probiotic in the individual.

[0010] Also provided is a method of producing an inulosaccharide (IOS) product comprising contacting the inulosucrase with a fructose source, and reacting the inulosucrase with the fructose source at pH 5 - 10 and at 40 °C - 60 °C to produce the IOS product. The fructose source may be sucrose, stachyose, raffinose, inulin, or a fructooligosaccharide (FOS). The IOS product may have a GF range of GF3-GF100, GF3-GF30, or GF10-GF25. The inulosucrase may be provided in a composition comprising a host cell comprising a nucleic acid encoding recombinant INUO. The method of producing an inulosaccharide (IOS) may further comprise chemical modification of the IOS product.

[0011] Also provided is a method of producing a tailored oligofructoside product comprising contacting the inulosucrase with a sucrose analogue having the glucose cap of sucrose substituted by another saccharide, and reacting the inulosucrase with the sucrose analogue at pH 5 - 10 and at 40 °C - 60 °C to produce the tailored oligofructoside product. The sucrose analogue may have the glucose cap of sucrose substituted by a galactose, a mannose, a fucose, a xylose, or an allose. The inulosucrase is provided in a composition comprising a host cell comprising a nucleic acid encoding recombinant INUO.

GLOSSARY



[0012] 
BLAST
Basic Local Alignment Search Tool
CAZy
carbohydrate active enzymes database
EDTA
ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid
FOS
fructooligosaccharide(s)
Ftase, FTF, or FS
fructosyltransferase(s)
GFn
a repeating structure in an IOS polymer, where G refers to a glucose molecule and Fn to the number of fructose units, e.g., GF4
GH32
family 32 of glycoside hydrolases
GH68
family 68 of glycoside hydrolases
GLC EI/MS
gas-liquid chromatography (GLC) combined with electron-impact mass spectrometry (EI/MS)
GPC
gel permeation chromatography
HOD signal
an NMR signal from water in which one proton is exchanged for a deuterium
HPAEC
high performance anion-exchange chromatography
HPLC
high performance liquid chromatography
HPSEC
high performance size exclusion chromatography
HSQC
heteronuclear single quantum coherence
INUO
inulosucrase from Bacillus agaradhaerens
IOS
inulooligosaccharide(s)
MALLS
multi angle laser light scattering
NMR
nuclear magnetic resonance
RI
refractive index
SEC
size-exclusion chromatography
TLC
thin layer chromatography
universal buffer
a mixture of Na2HPO4 and citric acid designed to give a specific pH
PDI
polydispersity index
Mw
weight average molecular weight
Mn
average molecular weight
Mp
peak molecular weight

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0013] 

FIG. 1 depicts a phylogenetic tree of FTases (inulosucrases and levansucrases) from lactic acid bacteria. Bootstrap test of phylogeny was performed by the neighbour-joining method using 500 replicates. Bootstrap values in percentage are indicated at the branching points. The scale bar corresponds to a genetic distance of 0.1 substitution per position. FTases with available three-dimensional structural information are underlined. Inulosucrases are in grey font, and levansucrases are in black font; the presently disclosed INUO enzyme from Bacillus agaradhaerens strain WDG185 is bolded.

FIG. 2 depicts the amino acid sequence of the INUO enzyme from B. agaradhaerens strain WDG185 (SEQ ID NO: 4). The regions corresponding to the conserved regions (I-XI) identified in the catalytic domains of other fructansucrase enzymes are bold and underlined. "∇" represents catalytic residues; and "↓"represents Ca2+ binding residues. "∼" indicates the deduced 31-aa signal peptide sequence.

FIG. 3 depicts IOS formation by recombinant INUO (amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4). Reaction conditions were 800 mM sucrose, 200 mL (1.79 mg/mL) of INUO in 2 L of 800 mM sucrose, 75 mM universal buffer pH 7.0. At different time intervals (0-4 h) samples were withdrawn. FIG. 3A depicts high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showing the relative amounts of the levels of sucrose (◆), glucose (■) and fructose (●). FIG. 3B depicts high performance anion-exchange chromatographic (HPAEC) analysis showing IOS formation over time, measured at T = 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 hours after the reaction is initiated.

FIG. 4 depicts HPAEC analysis of INUO reaction products (dotted line) formed upon incubation of 0.35 µg/mL purified INUO enzyme with 800 mM sucrose and chicory inulin (solid line) (GF2 = 1-kestose; GF3 = 1-nystose; and GF4 = 1F-fructofuranosylnystose).

FIG. 5 depicts TLC analysis of (1) precipitated and freeze-dried reaction product of purified INUO, (2) reaction product of INUO degraded by inulinase, (3) 1-kestose (GF2) and (4) 1-nystose (GF3).

FIG. 6 depicts 600 MHz 2D 1H-13C sensitivity enhanced multiplicity edited heteronuclear single quantum coherence (HSQC) spectroscopy of the ethanol precipitated FOS made by purified recombinant INUO. Chemical shifts are given in parts per million. The 1H signal is given relative to external acetone (1H, δ = 2.225).

FIG. 7 depicts LiNO3 high performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC)-multi angle laser light scattering (MALLS)-refractive index (RI) spectra of inulin synthesized by INUO (black line) and sigma chicory inulin (grey line).


DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0014] An inulosucrase from Bacillus agaradhaerens (INUO), recombinantly engineered variants thereof, and active fragments thereof are disclosed. The full length sequence of the inulosucrase consists of the amino acid sequence set forth in SEQ ID NO: 4. The INUO may consist of amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4, when expressed as a mature enzyme. The recombinant INUO enzyme possesses inulosucrase activity and is able to catalyze polymerization of inulin oligosaccharides containing β-(2→1) linkages. INUO may comprise a polypeptide consisting of amino acids 32-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4, where additional amino acid sequences may be fused to the N-terminus and/or C-terminus of the polypeptide consisting of amino acids 32-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4. The amino acid sequences fused at either termini may contain amino acid sequences not normally associated with naturally occurring INUO. For example, such amino acid sequences may be useful for labeling or purifying the protein. Such amino acid sequences also include polypeptides that confer a new function on the expressed INUO. For example, a heterologous carbohydrate binding domain may be fused to the carboxyl terminus of the recombinant INUO.

[0015] The INUO may be "isolated," meaning that it is separated from at least some of the biological material with which it is associated in nature, and then purified and concentrated into a form that is not found in nature, e.g., in a lyophilized powder form, an encapsulated form, a coated form, a granulated form, or a liquid formulation. The INUO may be "recombinantly expressed," meaning that it is expressed within a recombinant host cell from a DNA or a similar synthetic nucleic acid. A signal peptide may be operably linked to the N-terminus to facilitate secretion of the recombinantly expressed protein from an expression vector within a host cell. The signal peptide may have the sequence of amino acids 1-31 of SEQ ID NO: 4, for example. INUO alternatively may be linked to a different signal sequence, such as a signal sequence from another bacterial species, e.g., another Bacillus sp. signal sequence. The signal peptide may be proteolytically cleaved during recombinant expression to yield the mature form of the inulosucrase.

[0016] "Recombinant INUO" includes recombinantly expressed INUO consisting of amino acids 32-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4, as well as recombinantly engineered variants thereof or active fragments thereof. A "recombinantly engineered variant" contains at least one amino acid substitution or deletion from the N- or C-terminus, compared to amino acids 32-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4. The amino acid sequence of a recombinantly engineered variant varies from the amino acid sequence of the naturally occurring inulosucrase of SEQ ID NO: 4 by at least one amino acid. A recombinantly engineered variant may show at least 60%, at least 80%, at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98%, at least 99% or at least 99.5% sequence identity with amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4. Variants of INUO may consist of amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4, wherein the non-identical amino acids may be amino acid substitutions or deletions from either the C- or N-termini. For example, a variant with a deletion of residues 449-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4 would have at least 98% sequence identity with amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4. Recombinant INUO include, but are not limited to, polypeptides with 1, 2, 3, or 4 randomly selected amino acid modifications. The amino acid substitution also may be selected from the conservative amino acid substitutions shown in TABLE 1:
TABLE 1
ResidueConservative SubstitutionsResidueConservative Substitutions
Ala Ser Leu Ile; Val
Arg Lys Lys Arg; Gln
Asn Gln; His Met Leu; Ile
Asp Glu Phe Met; Leu; Tyr
Gln Asn Ser Thr; Gly
Cys Ser Thr Ser; Val
Glu Asp Trp Tyr
Gly Pro Tyr Trp; Phe
His Asn; Gln Val Ile; Leu
Ile Leu, Val    


[0017] Amino acid substitutions, deletions, and/or insertions may readily be made using peptide synthetic techniques well known in the art, such as solid phase peptide synthesis and the like, or by recombinant DNA manipulation. Methods for the manipulation of DNA sequences to produce substitution, insertion or deletion variants of a protein are well known in the art and include site-directed mutagenesis, for example.

[0018] An active fragment of the recombinantly expressed INUO is also provided. An active fragment of INUO is a portion of INUO that retains a measureable inulosucrase activity, and is able to catalyze polymerization of inulin oligosaccharides containing β (2→1) linkages.

[0019] As used herein, "percent sequence identity" means that a variant has at least a certain percentage of amino acid residues identical to the wild-type enzyme, when aligned using the CLUSTAL W algorithm with default parameters. See Thompson et al. (1994) Nucleic Acids Res. 22:4673-4680. Default parameters for the CLUSTAL W algorithm are:
Gap opening penalty: 10.0
Gap extension penalty: 0.05
Protein weight matrix: BLOSUM series
DNA weight matrix: IUB
Delay divergent sequences %: 40
Gap separation distance: 8
DNA transitions weight: 0.50
List hydrophilic residues: GPSNDQEKR
Use negative matrix: OFF
Toggle Residue specific penalties: ON
Toggle hydrophilic penalties: ON
Toggle end gap separation penalty OFF.


[0020] Deletions are counted as non-identical residues, compared to a reference sequence. Deletions occurring at either termini are included. For example, a variant with a deletion of residues 449-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4 would have at least 98% sequence identity, but not at least 99%, sequence identity (417 / 422 identical residues × 100 gives 98.8% sequence identity), relative to the amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4.

[0021] Amino acid modifications in the INUO variants may include residues in sequence motifs that are conserved compared to other GH68 enzymes. For example, motifs I-XI of INUO, which are depicted in FIG. 2, are sequence motifs conserved in other GH68 enzymes (TABLE 2). TABLE 2 depicts an amino acid sequence alignment of conserved regions (I-XI) in the catalytic domains of various fructansucrase enzymes (the beginning and ending positions of each motif for each enzyme are provided), wherein "INU" represents inulosucrases; "LEV" represents levansucrases; "∇" represents catalytic residues; "↓"represents Ca2+binding residues; "*" indicates identical residue; ":" indicates conserved substitutions; and "." indicates semi-conserved substitutions.
TABLE 2
StrainEnzymeSQNIIIIIIIV
    ↓∇   
B. subtilis SACB LEV 7 84VWDSW88 162EWSGS166 172DG173 174KIRLFYTD181
B. megaterium DSM319 SACB LEV 8 93VWDSW97 171EWSGS175 181DG182 183KVRLFYTD190
Ln. mesenteroides NRRL B-512 LEVS LEV 9 245VWDSW249 315QWSGS319 325DD326 327SIQLFYTK334
L. gasseri 20243 INUGA INU 10 264IWDSW268 332QWSGS336 342DG343 344SIQLYYTK351
L. gasseri 20604 INUGB INU 11 264IWDSW268 332QWSGS336 342DG343 344SIQLYYTK351
L. jonsonii NCC533 INUJ INU 12 270IWDSW274 338QWSGS342 348DG349 350SIQLYYTK357
L. reuter TMW1.106 INU INU 13 270VWDSW274 339EWSGS343 349DN350 351SIQLFYTR358
L. reuter 121 INU INU 14 270VWDSW274 339EWSGS343 349DN350 351SIQLFYTR358
L. reuter 121 LEV LEV 15 247VWDSW251 318EWSGS322 328DG329 330TIQLFFTS337
S. mutans GS-5 INU INU 16 246VWDSW250 315EWSGS319 325DG326 327SLQLFYTK334
Ln. mesenteroides CW28 ISLA INU 17 353VWDSW357 423EWSGS427 433DD434 435SIQLFYTR442
Z. mobilis ATCC 10988 LEVU LEV 18 46VWDTW50 11 7EWSGC121 129AN130 131SVEVFFTS138
G. diazotrophicus SRT4 LDSA LEV 19 133VWDTW137 223EWSGS227 235GN236 237TVSVFYTD244
B. agradhaerans WDG185 INUO INU 4 79VWDTW83 149QWAGS153 159DG160 161KVHFFYTA168
        :**:* :*:*. . .: .::*
EnzymeSQNVVIVIIVIIIIXXXI
  ↓    ∇  ↓    ∇   
SACB LEV 7 241DNHTLRDP248 258YL VFE262 330PLI332 339DEIER343 354YLFTD358 388YKPLN392 410TYS412
SACB LEV 8 251DNHTLRDP258 268YL VFE272 340PLI342 349DEIER353 364YLFTD368 398YKPLN402 420TYS422
LEVS LEV 9 393DNFTMRDP400 410YL AFE414 485PLL 487 494DEIER498 509YLFTD513 544YTPLN548 566TYS568
INUGA INU 10 413DNIAMRDA420 431YL VFE435 506PFI508 515DEIER519 530YLFAA534 571YVPLN575 593TYS595
INUGB INU 11 413DNIAMRDA420 431YL VFE435 506PLI508 515DEIER519 530YLFAA534 571YVPLN575 593TYS595
INUJ INU 12 419DNIAMRDA426 437YL VFE441 512PLI514 521DEIER525 536YLFAA540 577YVPLN581 594TYS596
INU INU 13 418DNIAMRDA425 436YL VFE440 511PLI513 520DEIER524 535YLFAA539 576YKPLN580 598TYS600
INU INU 14 418DNIAMRDA425 436YL VFE440 511PLI513 520DEIER524 535YLFAA539 576YKPLN580 598TYS600
LEV LEV 15 398DDYCLRDP405 416YL VFE420 491PL V493 500DEVER504 515YLFSV519 556YKPLN560 578TYS580
INU INU 16 396DNIAMRDP403 414YL VFE418 489PLL 491 498DELER502 513YLFTA517 554YKPLN558 576TYS578
ISLA INU 17 495DMFTLRDP502 513YL TFE517 588PLI590 597DEIER601 612YLFTD616 650YKPLN654 672TYS674
LEVU LEV 18 188NFWDFRDP195 207YA ALFE211 266PLV268 275DQTER279 290YLFTI294 323YEPLN327 343 AYS 345
LDSA LEV 19 303EFFNFRDP310 323YM MVFE327 389PLI391 398DQTER402 413YIFTI417 445FQPMN449 483SYS485
INUO INU 4 236IISAFRDP243 255 YI IWE259 314PLL 316 325HQLER329 338YLLTI342 371YEPLN375 391AYS393
      **. * :* *:: .: ** *::: : *:* :**


[0022] Motifs I, V, and VIII have been identified as regions containing the three catalytic amino acid residues in FTases. Variants of INUO may consist of amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4. Alternatively, variants of INUO may comprise motifs I-IV (residues 79-168 of SEQ ID NO: 4) or motifs I-XI (residues 79-393 of SEQ ID NO: 4) that are identical to the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4.

[0023] INUO may be a component of a composition. The composition may comprise purified INUO obtained from a culture of B. agaradhaerens or may comprise purified recombinant INUO, which may be expressed in a recombinantly modified host cell comprising nucleic acids encoding recombinant INUO. For example, the composition may comprise a host cell that expresses nucleic acids encoding the recombinant INUO. INUO may have at least 50%, at least 80%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or at least 98% purity in the composition. For example, INUO may be purified to homogeneity. The composition may include other components. For example, an INUO composition may comprise INUO as a lyophilized power and optionally one or more carriers, such as another protein without inulosucrase activity. The composition also may comprise INUO in a diluent, such as distilled water, distilled/deionized water, or a buffered saline solution.

[0024] Synthetic nucleic acids encoding recombinant INUO, e.g., DNA, vectors comprising the nucleic acids, and host cells comprising the vector or nucleic acids are provided. A "synthetic" nucleic acid contains at least one nucleotide residue that is not found in the naturally occurring sequence depicted in SEQ ID NO: 3. The nucleic acid sequences encoding recombinant INUO may comprise expression-regulating regions (e.g., promoters, enhancers, and terminators) that can be used for homologous or heterologous expression. Such expression-regulating sequences are operationally linked to a polypeptide-encoding nucleic acid sequence. As is well understood by one skilled in the art, the genetic code is degenerate, meaning that multiple codons in some cases may encode the same amino acid. Synthetic nucleic acids encoding recombinant INUO include all possible codon degeneracies. Nucleic acids encoding recombinant INUO may include the polynucleotide of SEQ ID NO: 3, which is the ftf gene of B. agaradhaerens.

[0025] A vector may comprise the synthetic nucleic acid encoding recombinant INUO. The vector may be an expression vector capable of expressing recombinant INUO, for example. The vector may comprise one or more selectable markers, e.g., an antibiotic resistance gene. Vectors comprising INUO-encoding nucleic acids may include those vectors that comprise the ftf polynucleotide of SEQ ID NO: 3. Other vectors may comprise a polynucleotide consisting of the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NO: 3. A recombinant host cell, such as a plant, animal, fungal, or bacterial cell, containing one or more copies of the nucleic acid construct are provided. The host cell may be a bacterial cell, e.g., Bacillus sp., which is capable of expressing and secreting the recombinant INUO. Other host bacterial cells may not be Bacillus agaradhaerens. A host cell may comprise the vector comprising a polynucleotide consisting of the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NO: 3. Suitable techniques for making and using nucleic acids encoding recombinant INUO, vectors, expression constructs comprising the nucleic acids, and host cells are well known in the art.

[0026] A method of using an INUO, e.g., a recombinant INUO, to produce an IOS product is also provided. The method may comprise contacting an INUO with a suitable fructose source, such as sucrose, stachyose, raffinose, or a FOS. Suitable sucrose sources include, but are not limited to, raw substrates, like sugar cane, beet juice, and molasses. When producing inulin from sucrose, the final average polymerization degree of inulin (i.e., GFn) can be affected by controlling the sucrose concentration of the culture media, the temperature when inulin synthase is brought into contact with sucrose, and/or the timing of sucrose substrate addition during the reaction. See U.S. Patent No. 7,507,558. The final average polymerization degree of inulin (i.e., GFn) may be in the range of GF3-GF100, or typically GF3-GF30 or GF10-GF25. Sucrose, for example, may be added at a concentration of level of 20-1000 mM. When 800 mM sucrose is added once to initiate the reaction, for example, the IOS product has a GF range of GF10-GF25, with a peak at GF16-GF17. The method can be performed over a broad pH range, e.g., about pH 5 - 10, about pH 5.5 - 9.5, about pH 6 - 8, or about pH 7. The temperature can be held over about 40 °C - 60 °C, e.g., about 45 °C - 55 °C, or about 50 °C.

[0027] As noted above, the production of IOS by an INUO simultaneously generates glucose from the sucrose substrate. The glucose produced during the INUO-catalyzed reaction can be further utilized simultaneously with, or subsequently to, contacting an INUO with the suitable fructose source. For example, the method of using an INUO may further comprise isomerizing the liberated glucose to produce fructose. This isomerizing may be a step in the production of high fructose syrup, for example. Alternatively, the glucose may be utilized as a substrate for microorganisms, e.g., yeast, in a process of co-fermentation. For example, a microorganism that expresses an INUO may be co-cultured with the fermenting microorganism. In this case, the pH and temperature regime used for the INUO-catalyzed reaction may be optimized for co-culturing the fermenting microorganism and the microorganism that expresses an INUO.

[0028] The suitable fructose source that is contacted with the INUO may be a food that contains sucrose, for example. Contacting the food with an INUO lowers the sucrose content of the food, while increasing the amount of FOS in the food. The FOS advantageously serves as a dietary fiber with low caloric value. Suitable fructose sources in this context include, but are not limited to, juices and yogurt.

[0029] The INUO may be provided in a composition comprising a purified INUO or recombinant INUO. The INUO may be provided in the form of a composition comprising a cell that expresses INUO, e.g., a host cell comprising a nucleic acid encoding recombinant INUO. In this case, the cell may be in a non-growth state. This allows the production of the fructans to proceed without the necessity of supplying nutrients and other materials for supporting growth of the cells. Production can be performed by contacting the sucrose or other fructose source, such as raffinose, with the cells and withdrawing polysaccharides from the medium. The cells expressing INUO may be immobilized on a carrier, such as solid particles, filters, and reactor walls. The cells may be capable of co-expressing at least one enzyme in addition to INUO, such as a glucansucrase enzyme. For example, enzymes that may be co-expressed with INUO, e.g., an isomerase, could utilize the glucose produced during the INUO-catalyzed reaction as a substrate.

[0030] The IOS product may be chemically modified after the production process, depending on the desired application of the IOS product. Some chemical modifications of inulin and various industrial applications of the modified oligosaccharides are summarized in Stevens, et al. (2001) "Chemical modification of inulin, a valuable renewable resource, and its industrial applications." BioMacromolecules 2: 1-16. For example, carbamoylated inulin can serve as a biodegradable surface-active agent given its capability of reducing interfacial tension. Additionally, the introduction of carboxylic acid/carboxylate functions into carbohydrates leads to compounds and materials which may be used as detergent components or food ingredients. Inulin can be carboxymethylated according to procedures known in the art, e.g., Verraest et al. (1995) Carbohydrate Res. 271: 101-112 and WO 95/15984. Carboxymethylated inulin can be used as an antiscalant, for example. Alternatively, oxidation of IOS can be performed by means well known in the art, including those disclosed in EP 427349, WO 95/12619, and WO 95/07303, for example. Esterification of inulin can produce surface active molecules that can be used as food-grade nonionic surfactants. Alkoxylation of inulin has been shown to be useful in preparing water-blown polyurethane forms. See e.g., Rogge et al. (2005) "Applicant of ethoxylated inulin in water-blown polyurethane foams." BioMacromolecules 6: 1992-1997. Oxidized fructans have improved water-solubility, altered viscosity, and a retarded fermentability, facilitating their use as metal-complexing agents, detergent additives, strengthening additives, bioactive carbohydrates, emulsifiers, and water binding agents. Oxidized fructans coupled to compounds such as proteins or fatty acids can be used as emulsifiers and stabilizers.

[0031] FOS produced by the breakdown of the IOS product may be used in a prebiotic composition, which can be administered to an individual. Prebiotic compositions comprising the FOS product may be administered to individuals with constipation, diarrhea, and/or high cholesterol levels, for example. The FOS can serve as a substrate for microflora in the large intestine, increasing the overall gastrointestinal tract health. FOS and IOS also may promote calcium absorption in both the animal and the human gut. The FOS also may be useful as a dietary fiber with low caloric value. Twenty (20) grams of the prebiotic composition may be administered to a human per day, for example.

[0032] A recombinant host cell capable of expressing recombinant INUO may be used in a composition capable of acting as a probiotic. The recombinant host cell can produce IOS in the gut following ingestion, thereby promoting the growth of strains like Bifidobacterium that can metabolize inulin. The composition may further comprise a food-grade, feed-grade, industrial-grade, or pharmacologically acceptable carrier, diluent, or excipient. In this context, "pharmaceutically acceptable" means that the component is safe for ingestion by animals and/or humans. The composition may be administered to an animal or human. The probiotic composition may be directly ingested in conjunction with food.

[0033] Further provided is a method of using an INUO, e.g., a recombinant INUO, to produce a tailored oligofructoside product (other than IOS), wherein the glucose cap of IOS is substituted, e.g., by another saccharide such as a galactose, manose, a fucose, or a xylose. See, e.g., Homann et al. (2012) "Chemo-enzymatic systhesis and in vitro cytokine profiling of tailor-made oligofructosides." BMC Biotechnol. 12: 90; Kralj et al. (2008) "Fructansucrase enzymes and sucrose analogues: A new approach for the synthesis of unique fructo-oligosaccharides." Biocat. Biotransf. 26: 32-41. The method may comprise contacting an INUO with a suitable sucrose analogue wherein the glucose cap of sucrose is substituted by another saccharide, such as a galactose, a mannose, a fucose, a xylose, or an allose. Similar to producing IOS from sucrose, the final average polymerization degree of the tailored oligofructoside can be affected by controlling the sucrose analogue concentration of the culture media, the temperature when inulin synthase is brought into contact with the sucrose analogue, and/or the timing of sucrose analogue addition during the reaction. The method can be performed over a broad pH range, e.g., about pH 5 - 10, about pH 5.5 - 9.5, about pH 6 - 8, or about pH 7. The temperature can be held over about 40 °C - 60 °C, e.g., about 45 °C - 55 °C, or about 50 °C.

[0034] The term "about" generally refers to ± 15% of the referenced value. When defining a temperature, "about" refers to an average temperature during a process. The skilled artisan would expect the temperature of a process to vary somewhat about a set temperature, e.g., by ± 1 °C from the set value. A temperature of "about 40 °C" thus would encompass temperatures of 40 ± 1 °C and also includes transient spikes in temperature that can occur during the process. For example, the temperature of a process may exceed 40 °C by several degrees over several minutes. These transient spikes are encompassed by "about 40 °C."

EXAMPLES


Bacterial strains, plasmids, and culturing conditions



[0035] The entire genome (3.7 MB) of the Bacillus agaradhaerens strain WDG185 (Dupont Culture collection) was sequenced, using Ilumina Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) (San Diego, CA), and assembled (BaseClear, Leiden, The Netherlands). Its taxonomic position was identified by 16sRNA analysis (identity: 1436/1438 = 99% with Bacillus agaradhaerens strain DSM 8721) Contiguous sequence runs were annotated using BioXpr (Namur, Belgium). Using a Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) search, two putative fructansucrase genes were identified in the Bacillus agaradhaerens WDG185 genome by their sequence homology with genes encoding SACB of B. subtilis (SEQ ID NO: 7) and INUJ of L. johnsonii NCC 533 (SEQ ID NO: 12).

[0036] B. subtilis SC6.1 (also called BG3594comK; ΔaprE, ΔnprE, degUHy32, oppA, ΔspoIIE3501, amyE::xylRPxylAcomK-phleo) was used as a cell host for cloning. Its competency gene (comK) was placed under a xylose inducible promoter, which was used to induce competency for DNA binding and uptake. See Hahn et al. (1996) "Regulatory inputs for the synthesis of ComK, the competence transcription factor of Bacillus subtilis." Mol. Microbiol. 21: 763-775. The plasmid, pHPLT, was used for expression of the inuO gene in a B. subtilis SC6.1 host cell. See Van Solingen et al. (2001) Extremophiles 5: 333-341. Host cells containing recombinant plasmids were cultivated in Tryptone Soya Broth (Oxoid Ltd., UK) and Grant's II medium. See U.S. Patent No. 8,507,244 B2. Heart Infusion agar plates (Difco Laboratories, MI) were used to select transformants. Plasmid integrity was maintained by the addition of 10 µg/mL neomycin.

Amino acid sequence alignment of inulosucrase from INUO and phylogenetic tree construction



[0037] The amino acid sequence of INUO and of previously characterized FTases, including both inulo- and levansucrases, were aligned with the ClustalW interface in MEGA version 4 (on the Internet at megasoftware.net) with gap-opening and extension penalties of 10 and 0.2, respectively. Amino acid sequences were acquired from the CAZy (carbohydrate active enzymes) database (on the Internet at cazy.org). The phylogenetic tree also was made using the MEGA program. A bootstrap test of phylogeny was performed by the neighbor-joining method using 500 replicates.

Molecular techniques



[0038] General procedures for gene cloning, E. coli DNA transformations, DNA manipulations, and agarose gel electrophoresis were as described. See Green et al. (2013) MOLECULAR CLONING: A LABORATORY MANUAL, 4th ed., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York. Restriction endonuclease digestions and ligations with T4 DNA ligase were performed as recommended by the enzyme suppliers (New England BioLabs Inc., Ipswich, MA). Primers were obtained from Life Technologies, Frederick, MD. Sequencing was performed using BaseClear (Leiden, NL). Plasmid DNA of B. subtilis was isolated using the NucleoSpin® Plasmid kit (Machery-Nagel GmbH & Co. KG, Düren, FRG).

Cloning of the inuO gene



[0039] Total genomic DNA from Bacillus agaradhaerens was obtained by first growing the strain on Heart Infusion agar plates (Difco Laboratories, MI) at 37 °C for 24 h. Cell material was scraped from the plates and used to prepare genomic DNA with the ZF Fungal/Bacterial DNA miniprep kit from Zymo Research Corp. (Irvine, CA) (Cat No. D6005). DNA was amplified on a DNA thermal cycler Eppendorf Mastercycler® ep gradient S using Platinum Taq DNA Polymerase High Fidelity (Invitrogen™). The B. agaradhaerens inuO gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction from the genomic DNA of B. agaradhaerens using primers:

BspK02313-FW 5'-CTCATTCTGCAGCTAGCGCAACCTCAGACTGGGATGCTGAAGATGAT-3' (SEQ ID NO: 1), containing a PstI site (bold) and a NdeI site (italics) and

BspK02313-RV 5'-CGCAGATATCGTTAACTCAACGATAGGCACCGAATGGTCTGAT-3' (SEQ ID NO: 2) containing a HpaI site (bold). Using the PstI and HpaI restriction sites, the inuO amplicon was cloned into the expression vector pHPLT. The resulting vector (pHPLT-InuO) was transformed into B. subtilis SC6.1 for expression studies. Correct construction of the plasmid was confirmed by nucleotide sequence analysis (BaseClear, The Netherlands).


Deduced amino acid sequence analysis and dendrogram of INUO



[0040] The ftf gene of B. agaradhaerens WDG185 was identified by the cloning and expression methods disclosed above. The nucleotide sequence of the ftf gene is disclosed in SEQ ID NO: 3. The ftf gene encodes a 453 amino acid protein with a putative signal sequence of 31 amino acids. The full length amino acid sequence of the encoded protein is shown in SEQ ID NO: 4. The putative cleavage site for the signal peptidase was determined using software provided on the Internet at cbs.dtu.dk/services/SignalP. The deduced molecular weight of the mature protein encoded by the ftf gene is 47.3 kDa. A core region of 416 amino acids (residues 32 to 447 of SEQ ID NO: 4) was identified by sequence homology (software on the Internet at pfam.janelia.org) as a member of glycoside hydrolase family 68 (GH68).

[0041] BLAST searches of INUO revealed highest similarity with a putative FTase from Paenibacillus elgi. The two proteins share 67% sequence identity over the entire protein sequence and 81% sequence identity within 443 amino acids. Residues 35-64 of the INUO of SEQ ID NO: 4 shared 50% sequence identity with a 30 amino acid N-terminal sequence from the partially characterized inulosucrase of Bacillus sp. 217C-11. See Wada et al. (2003).

[0042] INUO clustered most closely with levansucrases in the phylogenetic tree (FIG. 1) and not with the other known inulosucrase enzymes. The conserved motifs and amino acids reported to be involved in catalysis in GH68 enzymes were all present in the INUO sequence, as depicted in TABLE 2. See Van Hijum et al. (2006) Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 70: 157-176; Velázquez-Hernández et al. (2009) J. Appl. Microbiol. 106: 1763-1778.

[0043] Three amino acid residues important for catalytic activity of GH68 enzymes are also present in INUO. For example, the catalytic nuclepohile D81 is present within a conserved (V/L)WD(T/S)(W/M) motif (SEQ ID NO: 5) located at residues 79-83 of INUO (SEQ ID NO: 4). Second, the transition state stabilizer residue D242 is present in a conserved RD242P motif located at residues 241-243 of INUO. Third, the acid/base catalyst residue E326 is present in a conserved D(E/Q)(I/T)ER motif (SEQ ID NO: 6) at residues 323-327 of INUO. See Velázquez-Hernández et al. (2009); Meng et al. (2003) Nat. Struct. Biol. 10: 935-941; Ozimek et al. (2004) FEBS Lett. 560: 131-133.

[0044] Amino acid residues surrounding the conserved motifs and catalytic amino acids showed differences with other GH68 enzymes, as shown in the sequence alignments depicted in TABLE 2. For example, the conserved sequence motif RDP, harboring the transition state stabilizer, is preceded by the sequence motif IAM in most inulosucrase enzymes, while in INUO the sequence motif SAF is present. Further differences are seen in the conserved D(E/Q)(I/T)ER motif (SEQ ID NO: 6). While the acid/base catalyst residue E326 is present in INUO, the conserved aspartate (D) from the motif is instead a histidine (H) in INUO. The aspartate residue in the D(E/Q)(I/T)ER motif (SEQ ID NO: 6) coordinates with Ca2+ in the calcium binding site of the B. subtilis SACB and L. jonsonii NCC533 INUJ enzymes. See Meng et al. (2003); Pijning et al. (2011) J. Mol. Biol. 412: 80-93. D241, another residue constituting the calcium binding site in SACB, is instead an isoleucine (I236) in INUO (see Table 2). This suggests that INUO does not bind Ca2+, which would be consistent with the absence of an EDTA effect on INUO activity noted above. Further, the amino acid preceding the catalytic acid base catalyst residue E326 is leucine (L), but is usually a conserved isoleucine or threonine in other GH68 enzymes. (See Table 2.)

[0045] The 31 amino acid signal sequence, and the various motifs and amino acid residues of INUO discussed above are bolded and highlighted in FIG. 2. The forward slash demarcates motifs III and IV.

InuO gene expression and purification of INUO



[0046] Expression was initiated from a single colony of B. subtilis SC6.1 harboring pHPLT-InuO grown aerobically (250 rpm) at 37 °C for 6 h in TSB. The pre-culture (1 mL) was used to inoculate 200 mL Grant's II medium in a 2 L Bellco baffled shake flask, containing 3 drops of antifoam (Mazu DF 6000K, Mazer Chemicals, Gurnee, IL). After incubation for 66 h (at 220 rpm) at 37 °C, the supernatant was collected by centrifugation (17000 × g) and filtered through a 0.22 µm Durapore® PVDF membrane (EMD Millipore).

[0047] High expression levels of InuO were achieved using the B. subtilis SC6.1 above as host, yielding about 100 mg of highly purified protein from a 1 L culture. The predicted Mr of INUO was in agreement with the results obtained by SDS-PAGE analysis.

[0048] INUO enzyme present in the supernatant was purified to homogeneity by anion exchange chromatography using an AKTA Explorer System (GE Healthcare) equipped with a 1 mL ResourceQ column (GE Healthcare) and a linear gradient of 30 mL with 1 M NaCl in 20 mM Tris buffer, pH 7.5, at a flow rate of 1 mL/min. Proteins present in the elution peak, as judged by SDS-PAGE, were desalted (Slide-A-Lyzer Dialysis Cassette 10 kDa MWCO, Pierce, Rockford, IL) using universal buffer, pH 7 (i.e., a mixture of Na2HPO4 and citric acid having a pH of 7). Protein concentrations were determined by the Bradford method using the Bio-Rad reagent and bovine serum albumin as a standard (Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA).

pH and temperature optima



[0049] The pH optimum (25 mM universal buffer, pH 2-12) and temperature optimum (40-88 °C) were determined by measuring the amount of saccharides synthesized by 0.53 mg/mL purified INUO from 800 mM sucrose after 15 min (HPLC) or 24 h incubation (TLC) (data not shown). The amount of saccharides were determined qualitatively by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and/or quantitatively by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

[0050] INUO showed a broad pH and temperature optimum from pH 5.5 to 9.5 (>60% activity) and 45 °C to 55 °C (>60% activity), respectively. Assays with various combinations of temperatures and buffers showed optimal activity for purified INUO at 50 °C and pH 7.0. INUO was not inhibited by addition of the Ca2+ chelator, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). The temperature and pH profiles/optima of INUO, as well as the effect of EDTA on enzyme activity, were most similar to those reported for the inulosucrase of Bacillus sp. 217C-11.

HPLC assay for sugar concentration determination



[0051] Sucrose, glucose, and fructose concentrations from enzymatic reactions of INUO with sucrose, were monitored using an Agilent 1200 (Agilent Technologies, Columbia, MD) HPLC equipped with 50 mm and 100 mm in-line connected RNM Ca2+ carbohydrate columns (Phenomenex). The columns were operated at a temperature of 80 °C and a flow rate of 0.8 mL/min in an eluent of 10 mM sodium acetate, pH 5.5. Detection was done with a refractive index (RI) detector operating at a temperature of 35 °C. The injection volume was 5 µL and appropriate calibration sets were used to determine exact sugar concentrations.

FOS production and characterization


(i) FOS production:



[0052] Recombinant INUO purified to 0.35 µg/mL was incubated with 800 mM sucrose at 50 °C in 50 mM universal buffer, pH 7.0, to produce FOS. Depletion of sucrose and formation of glucose and fructose were monitored using HPLC (see above), Produced FOS was analyzed by TLC (data not shown) and by HPLC. FIG. 3 depicts the results of IOS formation by recombinant INUO, measured by HPLC and high performance anion-exchange chromatographic (HPAEC).

[0053] FOS was precipitated from the incubation mixture using two volumes of 96% cold ethanol. After overnight incubation at 4 °C, FOS was separated by centrifugation at 900 × g for 60 min. The FOS was precipitated after they were dissolved in MilliQ water. This process was repeated two more times, and the FOS was finally freeze-dried.

[0054] A larger batch of FOS were produced by incubating 200 mL of INUO at 1.79 µg/mL in 800 mM sucrose, 75 mM of universal buffer, pH 7.0, in a total volume of 2 L. The mixture was incubated at 50 °C with gentle shaking (30 rpm). Depletion of sucrose was monitored by HPLC, and product formation was measured over time by HPAEC.

(ii) Thin layer chromatography (TLC):



[0055] To characterize FOS products, 1 µL of 2x diluted incubation samples or 1 µL of purified, freeze-dried FOS samples (1 mg/20 µL) were applied to TLC (Silica gel 60 F254; Merck, Germany) overnight using 1-butanol:ethanol:water (5:5:3) as the mobile phase. The plates were air-dried, sprayed with 45:45:10 MeOH:H2O:H2SO4 developing solution, and developed at 110 °C for approximately 15 min.

[0056] Degradation of freeze-dried FOS product by exo-inulinase was carried out as follows: 10 µL sample and 2 µL Aspergillus niger inulinase (Sigma, St. Louis, MO) (from a stock solution of 10 mg of enzyme at 22 U/mg dissolved in 1 mL of 0.1 M sodium acetate buffer, pH 4.5) were incubation for 15 minutes at room temperature and run on a TLC plate as described above.

(iii) High performance anion-exchange chromatographic (HPAEC) analysis:



[0057] Enzyme incubation reactions of INUO with sucrose and purified fructo oligosaccharides (0.1 mg/ml), after appropriately diluted, were analyzed by high performance anion exchange chromatography coupled to pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD - Dionex ICS-5000). Glucose, fructose, sucrose, kestose, nystose, fructosylnystose, and chicory inulin (Sigma, Megazyme) were used as standards. Sugars were separated using a CarbopacPA200 column (Thermo Scientific) with ultrapure water (eluent A), 1 M NaOH (eluent B), and 0.5 M NaAc (eluent C) as solvents at a flow rate of 0.50 mL/min, injection volume 5-10 µL, column temperature 30 °C, and detector temperature 25 °C. The following gradient of eluents A, B, and C was used:

eluent A (0 min, 89%); (55 min, 35%); (60.9 min, 25%); (61 min, 15%);

eluent B (0 min, 10%); (55 min, 10%); (60.9 min, 10%); (61 min, 20%); and

eluent C (0 min, 1%); (55 min, 55%); (60.9 min, 65%); (61 min, 65%).



[0058] Detection was performed with an electrochemical detector (Thermo Scientific) with an Au working electrode and an Ag/AgCl reference electrode. Waveform: Gold Standard PAD (standard quad potential): +0.1 Volt (0-0.40 s); -2.0 Volt (0.41-0.42 s); 0.6 Volt (0.43 s); -0.1 Volt (0.44-0.50 s). Data were integrated using Chromeleon software (Thermo Scientific).

(iv) Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR):



[0059] For NMR spectroscopy, approximately 1% w/v samples were dissolved in 99.9 atom percent D2O (Sigma-Aldrich) and stirred at 50 °C for 20 minutes prior to transferring to NMR tubes. Chicory inulin and levan from Zymomonas mobilis (Sigma) were used as controls. One-dimensional 1H-NMR spectra were recorded on a 600 MHz Avance III NMR spectrometer (Bruker) in a double resonance broad band probe at 300 K. Chemical shifts are expressed in ppm relative to the methyl group of external acetone (δ = 2.225). 1H NMR spectra were recorded with a spectral width of 10,000 Hz in 32k complex data points. The HOD signal (i.e., from water in which one proton is exchanged for a deuterium) was suppressed by excitation sculpting. Prior to Fourier transformation, the time-domain data were apodized with an exponential function, corresponding to a 1 Hz line broadening.

[0060] Two-dimensional 1H-13C sensitivity-enhanced, multiplicity edited heteronuclear single quantum coherence (HSQC) spectroscopy using standard parameters was carried out at a 1H frequency of 600.13 MHz and a 13C frequency of 150.9 MHz. Spectra were recorded with a spectral width of 7211 Hz for F2 and 25 kHz for F1. Spectra were acquired with 16 transients and 256 indirect increments using a d1 of 2 sec and 141 ms acquisition time.

(v) Methylation of FOS samples:



[0061] FOS samples were permethylated using CH3I and solid NaOH in dimethylsulfoxide. See Pettolino et al. (2012) Nat. Protoc. 7: 1590-1607. After hydrolysis with 2 M trifluoroacetic acid (2 h, 120 °C), the partially methylated monosaccharides were reduced with NaBD4 (overnight, at room temperature). Neutralization with acetic acid and removal of boric acid by co-evaporation with methanol, followed by acetylation with acetic anhydride-trifluoroacetic acid (25:23 v/v, 20 min, 50 °C), yielded a mixture of partially methylated alditol acetates. These products were analyzed by gas-liquid chromatography (GLC) combined with electron-impact mass spectrometry (EI/MS). GLC EI/MS was performed on a GC 7890/MSD 5973 system (Agilent Technologies, Little Falls, DE) equipped with an RTx-2330 column (30 m x 0.25 mm x 0.2 µm film thickness) (Restek Corp., Bellefonte, PA), using a temperature gradient of 80 °C (2 min) to 170 °C (0 min) at 30 °C/min followed by 4 °C/min to 240 °C (20 min).

(vi) FOS molecular mass determination:



[0062] 
  1. (a) LiNO3 eluent: Molecular masses of the FOS were determined by high performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) coupled on-line with a multi angle laser light scattering (MALLS) and differential refractive index (RI) detection (Optilab rEX, Wyatt Technology Corp., Santa Barbara, CA) operating at 40 °C. 1-2 mg of sample was dissolved in 50 mM LiNO3 and filtered through a 0.45 µm filter (Mini Spike, BBraun Melsungen AG, Germany). 100 µL sample was injected on HPLC (Gynkotek HPLC pump P580A, Gemini BV Laboratory, NL) equipped with a PSS SUPREMA-LUX 1000 Å and PSS SUPREMA-LUX 3000 Å gel permeation chromatography (GPC) column operating at 40 °C. As eluent, 50 mM LiNO3 with 200 ppm NaN3 was used at a flow rate of 0.6 mL/min. A DAWN-EOS laser photometer He-Ne (λ = 690 nm) (Wyatt Technology, Santa Barbara, CA) equipped with a K5 flow cell and 18 detectors at angles ranging from 12.8° to 164.7° was used as MALLS detector.
  2. (b) Aqueous eluent: Molecular masses of the FOS were determined by a multi-detector size exclusion chromatography method using PL-GPC220 integrated size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) system from Agilent Technologies equipped with differential refractometer and differential capillary viscometer, and additionally coupled with MALLS photometer DAWN-HELEOS-II (Wyatt Technology, Santa Barbara, CA). Samples were dissolved in Tris buffer (0.05 M hydroxymethyl aminomethane and 0.15 M sodium chloride, pH 7.6) at concentration 5 mg/mL and injected into the SEC system with 100 µL injection volume. The solution was filtered through a 0.45 µm hydrophilic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filter (Millipore® Millex® LCR) prior to injection. Two TKSgel GMPW-XL (pore size from 100 to 1000 Å) GPC columns, as well as a guard column, operating at 30 °C were used for separation. Tris buffer with 200 ppm NaN3 was used as the eluent at a flow rate of 0.5 mL/min. The data were processed using ASTRA v. 6.2 software (Wyatt Technology Corp., Santa Barbara, CA) without column calibration.

Production and characterization of the FOS synthesized by INUO



[0063] The recombinant INUO synthesized about 100 g of FOS from 200 mL of B. subtilis culture after a few hours of incubation with sucrose at a starting concentration of 800 mM. See FIG. 3. Under the conditions tested, the INUO enzyme had very low hydrolytic activity, and most of the fructose was incorporated in FOS. TLC analysis of isolated product showed that the purified recombinant INUO synthesized a range of FOS in addition to larger FOS >10 not separating under the TLC conditions used.

[0064] The INUO enzyme synthesizes only IOS with a GF range of GF10-GF25 and a peak at GF16-GF17. HPAEC analysis of incubation reaction of INUO with sucrose compared to chicory inulin (FIG. 4) showed that the majority of the FOS peaks were eluting at a similar position. Chicory inulin showed intermediate peaks next to the GFn peaks and also a broader distribution than INUO. The isolated FOS produced by INUO were degraded when exo-inulinase was added as analyzed by TLC (FIG. 5) and HPAEC (data not shown). These observations indicate that the synthesized FOS material was of the inulin type (i.e., β-(2→1) linked fructose units).

[0065] Comparison of the 2D NMR 1H-13C HSQC spectrum of inulin from chicory, levan from Z. mobilis, and the FOS synthesized by INUO showed that the spectrum of the FOS synthesized by INUO corresponds with β-(2→1) linked fructose units, typical for the structure found in inulin (FIG. 6). Furthermore, GC-MS analysis confirmed the presence of >95% β-(2→1) linked fructose units.

[0066] The size of the FOS material synthesized by INUO as determined by LiNO3 HPSEC was about 3 kDa. This size was similar to chicory inulin, which showed a broader distribution (FIG. 7) corroborating the results obtained by HPAEC (FIG. 4).

[0067] The following masses were determined using aqueous HPSEC for FOS produced by INUO and for chicory inulin: Mn 3.2/3.9 kDa; Mw 3.3/4.6; PDI Mw/Mn 1.002/1.194 and Mp 3.3/4.0, respectively. The polydispersity of the INUO product was remarkably small and even narrower than that of chicory inulin.

SEQUENCE LISTING:



[0068] 

SEQ ID NO: 1 - Primer sequence
5'-ctcattctgcagctagcgcaACCTCAGACTGGGATGCTGAAGATGAT-3'

SEQ ID NO: 2 - Primer sequence
5'-CGCAGATATCGTTAACTCAACGATAGGCACCGAATGGTCTGAT-3'





SEQ ID NO: 5 - Conserved catalytic motif of GH68 enzymes
(V/L)WD(T/S) (W/M)

SEQ ID NO: 6 - Conserved catalytic motif of GH68 enzymes
D(E/Q) (I/T)ER




































Claims

1. An inulosucrase from Bacillus agaradhaerens (INUO) comprising a polypeptide consisting of amino acids 32-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4, a variant thereof, or an active fragment thereof, wherein the variant is able to catalyze polymerization of inulin oligosaccharides containing β-(2→1) linkages, and wherein the variant has at least 80% sequence identity with amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4, and wherein the active fragment retains a measurable inulosucrase activity and is able to catalyze polymerization of inulin oligosaccharides containing β-(2→1) linkages.
 
2. The inulosucrase of claim 1, wherein the inulosucrase comprising the polypeptide consisting of amino acids 32-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4 further comprises additional amino acids fused at the N and/or C terminus that are not present in naturally occurring INUO from Bacillus agaradhaerens strain WDG185 (SEQ ID NO: 4).
 
3. The inulosucrase of claim 1, wherein the variant has at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, at least 98%, at least 99% or at least 99.5% sequence identity with amino acids 32-453 of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 4.
 
4. The inulosucrase of claim 1, wherein the amino acid residues of the variant that are not identical to amino acids 32-453 of SEQ ID NO: 4 are selected from conservative amino acid substitutions or deletions from either the C- or N-termini.
 
5. The inulosucrase of claim 1, wherein the amino acid sequence of the variant comprises a sequence identical to amino acids 79-393 of SEQ ID NO: 4.
 
6. A composition comprising the inulosucrase of claim 1, preferably wherein the inulosucrase is in a lyophilized powder form, an encapsulated form, a coated form, a granulated form, or a liquid formulation, and/or further comprising a diluent.
 
7. A nucleic acid encoding the inulosucrase of claim 1.
 
8. A vector comprising the nucleic acid of claim 7, which is preferably an expression vector.
 
9. A host cell comprising the nucleic acid of claim 7 or the vector of claim 8.
 
10. A vector comprising a polynucleotide consisting of the nucleotide sequence of SEQ ID NO: 3.
 
11. A host cell comprising the vector of claim 10, preferably wherein the host cell is not Bacillus agaradhaerens.
 
12. A composition comprising the host cell of claim 9 and a food-grade, feed-grade, industrial-grade, or pharmacologically acceptable carrier, diluent, or excipient.
 
13. A probiotic composition comprising the host cell of claim 9 and a food-grade, feed-grade, industrial-grade, or pharmacologically acceptable carrier, diluent, or excipient.
 
14. A method of producing an inulosaccharide (IOS) product, comprising contacting the inulosucrase of claim 1 with a fructose source, and reacting the inulosucrase with the fructose source at pH 5 - 10 and at 40 °C - 60 °C to produce the IOS product preferably wherein

(i) the fructose source is sucrose, stachyose, raffinose, inulin, or a fructooligosaccharide (FOS), and/or

(ii) the IOS product has a GF range of GF3-GF100, GF3-GF30, or GF10-GF25; and/or

(iii) the inulosucrase is provided in a composition comprising a host cell comprising a nucleic acid encoding recombinant INUO; and/or

(iv) the method further comprises chemical modification of the IOS product.


 
15. A method of producing a tailored oligofructoside product, comprising contacting the inulosucrase of claim 1 with a sucrose analogue having the glucose cap of sucrose substituted by another saccharide, and reacting the inulosucrase with the sucrose analogue at pH 5 - 10 and at 40 °C - 60 °C to produce the tailored oligofructoside product, preferably , wherein the sucrose analogue has the glucose cap of sucrose substituted by a galactose, a mannose, a fucose, a xylose, or an allose, and/or wherein the inulosucrase is provided in a composition comprising a host cell comprising a nucleic acid encoding recombinant INUO.
 


Ansprüche

1. Inulosucrase von Bacillus agaradhaerens (INUO), umfassend ein Polypeptid, bestehend aus den Aminosäuren 32-453 von SEQ ID NO: 4, eine Variante davon oder ein aktives Fragment davon, wobei die Variante in der Lage ist, die Polymerisation von Inulin-Oligosacchariden zu katalysieren, die β-(2→1)-Bindungen enthalten, und wobei die Variante mindestens 80% Sequenzidentität mit den Aminosäuren 32-453 der Aminosäuresequenz von SEQ ID NO: 4 aufweist, und wobei das aktive Fragment eine messbare Inulosucrase-Aktivität bewahrt und in der Lage ist, die Polymerisation von Inulin-Oligosacchariden, die β-(2→1)-Bindungen enthalten, zu katalysieren.
 
2. Inulosucrase nach Anspruch 1, wobei Inulosucrase, die das Polypeptid umfasst, bestehend aus den Aminosäuren 32-453 von SEQ ID NO: 4, ferner zusätzliche Aminosäuren umfasst, die an dem N- und/oder C-Terminus fusioniert sind, der in natürlich auftretender INUO von Bacillus agaradhaerens vom Stamm WDG185 (SEQ ID NO: 4) nicht vorhanden ist.
 
3. Inulosucrase nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Variante mindestens 85%, mindestens 90%, mindestens 95%, mindestens 98%, mindestens 99% oder mindestens 99,5 Sequenzidentität mit den Aminosäuren 32-453 der Aminosäuresequenz von SEQ ID NO: 4 aufweist.
 
4. Inulosucrase nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Aminosäurereste der Variante, die nicht mit den Aminosäuren 32-453 von SEQ ID NO: 4 identisch sind, aus konservativen Aminosäure-Substitutionen oder -Deletionen von entweder den C- oder N-Termini ausgewählt sind.
 
5. Inulosucrase nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Aminosäuresequenz der Variante eine Sequenz umfasst, die zu den Aminosäuren 79-393 von SEQ ID NO: 4 identisch ist.
 
6. Zusammensetzung, umfassend die Inulosucrase nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Inulosucrase bevorzugt in einer lyophilisierten Pulverform, einer eingekapselten Form, einer beschichteten Form, einer granulierten Form oder einer flüssigen Formulierung vorliegt und/oder ferner ein Verdünnungsmittel umfasst.
 
7. Nucleinsäure, die die Inulosucrase nach Anspruch 1 codiert.
 
8. Vektor, umfassend die Nucleinsäure nach Anspruch 7, der bevorzugt ein Expressionsvektor ist.
 
9. Wirtszelle, umfassend die Nucleinsäure nach Anspruch 7 oder den Vektor nach Anspruch 8.
 
10. Vektor, umfassend ein Polynucleotid, bestehend aus der Nucleotidsequenz von SEQ ID NO: 3.
 
11. Wirtszelle, umfassend den Vektor nach Anspruch 10, wobei die Wirtszelle vorzugsweise nicht Bacillus agaradhaerens ist.
 
12. Zusammensetzung, umfassend die Wirtszelle nach Anspruch 9 und einen für Lebensmittel, Futtermittel, Industrie geeigneten oder pharmakologisch verträglichen Träger, Verdünnungsmittel oder Arzneimittelträger.
 
13. Probiotische Zusammensetzung, umfassend die Wirtszelle nach Anspruch 9 und einen für Lebensmittel, Futtermittel, Industrie geeigneten oder pharmakologisch verträglichen Träger, Verdünnungsmittel oder Arzneimittelträger.
 
14. Verfahren zum Herstellen eines Inulosaccharid (IOS)-Produkts, umfassend Kontaktieren der Inulosucrase nach Anspruch 1 mit einem Ausgangsstoff für Fructose und Umsetzen der Inulosucrase mit dem Ausgangsstoff für Fructose bei pH 5 bis 10 und bei 40° bis 60 °C, um das IOS-Produkt zu erzeugen, bevorzugt wobei

(i) der Ausgangsstoff für Fructose Saccharose, Stachyose, Raffinose, Inulin oder ein Fructooligosaccharid (FOS) ist, und/oder

(ii) das IOS-Produkt einen GF-Bereich von GF3-GF100, GF3-GF30 oder GF10-GF25 aufweist; und/oder

(iii) die Inulosucrase in einer Zusammensetzung bereitgestellt wird, die eine Wirtszelle umfasst, die Nucleinsäure umfasst, die rekombinante INUO codiert; und/oder

(iv) das Verfahren ferner chemische Modifikation des IOS-Produkts umfasst.


 
15. Verfahren zum Herstellen eines maßgeschneiderten Oligofructosid-Produkts, umfassend Kontaktieren der Inulosucrase nach Anspruch 1 mit einem Saccharose-Analogon, bei dem die Glucose-Kappe von Saccharose durch ein anderes Saccharid substituiert ist, und Umsetzen der Inulosucrase mit dem Saccharose-Analogon bei pH 5 bis 10 und bei 40 °C bis 60 °C, um das maßgeschneiderte Oligofructosid-Produkt herzustellen, vorzugsweise wobei das Saccharose-Analogon die Glucose-Kappe von Saccharose substituiert durch eine Galactose, eine Mannose, eine Fucose, eine Xylose oder eine Allose aufweist, und/oder wobei die Inulosucrase in einer Zusammensetzung bereitgestellt wird, die eine Wirtzelle umfasst, die eine Nucleinsäure umfasst, die eine rekombinante INUO codiert.
 


Revendications

1. Inulosucrase de Bacillus agaradhaerens (INUO) comprenant un polypeptide consistant en les acides aminés 32 à 453 de SEQ ID NO: 4, un variant de celui-ci, ou un fragment actif de celui-ci, dans laquelle le variant est apte à catalyser la polymérisation d'oligosaccharides d'inuline contenant des liaisons β-(2→1), et dans laquelle le variant a au moins 80% d'identité de séquence avec les acides aminés 32 à 453 de la séquence d'acides aminés de SEQ ID NO: 4, et dans laquelle le fragment actif retient une activité d'inulosucrase mesurable et est apte à catalyser la polymérisation d'oligosaccharides d'inuline contenant des liaisons β-(2→1).
 
2. Inulosucrase selon la revendication 1, laquelle inulosucrase comprenant le polypeptide consistant en les acides aminés 32 à 453 de SEQ ID NO: 4 comprend en outre des acides aminés supplémentaires fusionnés à l'extrémité N et/ou C qui ne sont pas présents dans une INUO d'origine naturelle de la souche de Bacillus agaradhaerens WDG185 (SEQ ID NO: 4).
 
3. Inulosucrase selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle le variant a au moins 85%, au moins 90%, au moins 95%, au moins 98%, au moins 99% ou au moins 99,5% d'identité de séquence avec les acides aminés 32 à 453 de la séquence d'acides aminés de SEQ ID NO: 4.
 
4. Inulosucrase selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle les restes d'acides aminés du variant qui ne sont pas identiques aux acides aminés 32 à 453 de SEQ ID NO: 4 sont choisis parmi des substitutions ou délétions conservatives d'acides aminés des extrémités soit C soit N.
 
5. Inulosucrase selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle la séquence d'acides aminés du variant comprend une séquence identique aux acides aminés 70 à 393 de SEQ ID NO: 4.
 
6. Composition comprenant l'inulosucrase selon la revendication 1, de préférence dans laquelle l'inulosucrase est sous une forme de poudre lyophilisée, une forme encapsulée, une forme enrobée, une forme granulée, ou une formulation liquide et/ou comprend en outre un diluant.
 
7. Acide nucléique codant l'inulosucrase selon la revendication 1.
 
8. Vecteur comprenant l'acide nucléique selon la revendication 7, qui est de préférence un vecteur d'expression.
 
9. Cellule hôte comprenant l'acide nucléique selon la revendication 7 ou le vecteur selon la revendication 8.
 
10. Vecteur comprenant un polynucléotide consistant en la séquence nucléotidique de SEQ ID NO: 3.
 
11. Cellule hôte comprenant le vecteur selon la revendication 10, de préférence laquelle cellule hôte n'est pas Bacillus agaradhaerens.
 
12. Composition comprenant la cellule hôte selon la revendication 9 et un véhicule, diluant ou excipient de qualité alimentaire, de qualité alimentaire animale, de qualité industrielle ou pharmacologiquement acceptable.
 
13. Composition probiotique comprenant la cellule hôte selon la revendication 9 et un véhicule, diluant ou excipient de qualité alimentaire, de qualité alimentaire animale, de qualité industrielle ou pharmacologiquement acceptable.
 
14. Procédé de production d'un produit d'inulosaccharide (IOS), comprenant la mise en contact de l'inulosucrase selon la revendication 1 avec une source de fructose, et la réaction de l'inulosucrase avec la source de fructose à pH 5 à 10 et à 40°C à 60°C pour produire le produit d'IOS, de préférence dans lequel

(i) la source de fructose est le saccharose, le stachyose, le raffinose, l'inuline ou un fructooligosaccharide (FOS), et/ou

(ii) le produit d'IOS a une gamme GF de GF3-GF100, GF3-GF30 ou GF10-GF25; et/ou

(iii) l'inulosucrase est fournie dans une composition comprenant une cellule hôte comprenant un acide nucléique codant INUO recombinant; et/ou

(iv) le procédé comprenant en outre une modification chimique du produit d'IOS.


 
15. Procédé de production d'un produit d'oligofructoside adapté, comprenant la mise en contact de l'inulosucrase selon la revendication 1 avec un analogue de saccharose ayant la coiffe glucose du saccharose substituée par un autre saccharide, et la réaction de l'inulosucrase avec l'analogue de saccharose à pH 5 à 10 et à 40°C à 60°C pour produire le produit d'oligofructoside adapté, de préférence dans lequel l'analogue de saccharose a la coiffe glucose du saccharose substituée par un galactose, un mannose, un fucose, un xylose ou un allose, et/ou dans lequel l'inulosucrase est fournie dans une composition comprenant une cellule hôte comprenant un acide nucléique codant INUO recombinant.
 




Drawing
























REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description