(19)
(11)EP 3 453 720 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
02.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/36

(21)Application number: 18192542.1

(22)Date of filing:  04.09.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
C07K 14/43(2006.01)

(54)

NEW THERMOSTABLE PHYTASES WITH HIGH CATALYTIC EFFICACY

NEUE THERMOSTABILE PHYTASEN MIT HOHER KATALYTISCHER WIRKSAMKEIT

NOUVELLES PHYTASES THERMOSTABLES À HAUTE EFFICACITÉ CATALYTIQUE


(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: 07.09.2017 EP 17189861

(43)Date of publication of application:
13.03.2019 Bulletin 2019/11

(60)Divisional application:
20183349.8

(73)Proprietor: BIOVET AD
4550 Peshtera (BG)

(72)Inventors:
  • PETKOV, Spas Bojidarov
    4000 Plovdiv (BG)
  • OUTCHKOUROV, Nikolay Stoyanov
    6721RP Bennekom (NL)

(74)Representative: Grünecker Patent- und Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB 
Leopoldstraße 4
80802 München
80802 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2015/197871
US-B1- 9 605 245
WO-A2-2009/073399
  
  • GARRETT J B ET AL: "Enhancing the thermal tolerance and gastric performance of a microbial phytase for use as a phosphate-mobilizing monogastric-feed supplement", APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY,, vol. 70, no. 5, 1 May 2004 (2004-05-01), pages 3041-3046, XP002477018, ISSN: 0099-2240, DOI: 10.1128/AEM.70.5.3041-3046.2004
  • XIN GEN LEI ET AL: "Phytase, a New Life for an "Old" Enzyme", ANNUAL REVIEW OF ANIMAL BIOSCIENCES, vol. 1, no. 1, 1 January 2013 (2013-01-01) , pages 283-309, XP055059842, ISSN: 2165-8102, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-animal-031412-103717
  
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


[0001] The present invention provides phytase enzymes exhibiting a surprisingly high thermostability as compared to commercially available phytases. Variants with improved catalytic activity are also disclosed.

Background



[0002] Phytases are enzymes releasing inorganic phosphate from phytate. Phytases are used as feed additives to increase release of inorganic phosphorus from phytate in the feed. Commercial phytases currently used in the industry are supposed to have high catalytic efficacy, stability in the stomach of monogastric animals and a high thermostability in order to retain most of their activity after heat treatment during feed pelleting.

[0003] Minerals are essential elements for the growth of all organisms. For livestock production of monogastric animals (e.g., pigs, poultry) and fish, feed is commonly supplemented with minerals. Plant seeds are a rich source of minerals since they contain ions that are complexed with the phosphate groups of phytic acid. Ruminants do not require inorganic phosphate and minerals because microorganisms in the rumen produce enzymes that catalyze conversion of phytate (myo-inositol-hexaphosphate) to inositol and inorganic phosphate. In the process, minerals that have been complexed with phytate are released.

[0004] Phytate occurs as a source of stored phosphorous in virtually all plant feeds (Phytic Acid, Chemistry and Applications, E. Graf (Ed.), Pilatus Press: Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A., 1986). Phytic acid forms a normal part of the seed in cereals and legumes. It functions to bind dietary minerals that are essential to the new plant as it emerges from the seed. When the phosphate groups of phytic acid are removed by the seed enzyme phytase, the ability to bind metal ions is lost and the minerals become available to the plant. In livestock feed grains, the trace minerals bound by phytic acid are only partially available for absorption by monogastric animals, which lack phytase activity. Although some hydrolysis of phytate occurs in the colon, most phytate passes through the gastrointestinal tract of monogastric animals and is excreted in the manure contributing to fecal phosphate pollution problems in areas of intense livestock production. Inorganic phosphorous released in the colon has no nutritional value to livestock because inorganic phosphorous is absorbed only in the small intestine. Thus, a significant amount of the nutritionally important dietary minerals are potentially not available to monogastric animals.

[0005] Conversion of phytate to inositol and inorganic phosphorous can be catalyzed by microbial enzymes referred to broadly as phytases. Phytases are capable of catalyzing hydrolysis of myo-inositol hexaphosphate to D-myo-inositol pentaphosphate and orthophosphate. Based on catalytic mode of action there are two types of phytases, a 3-phytase (EC.3.1.3.8) removes phosphate groups at the 1 and 3 positions of the myo-inositol ring, and a 6-phytase (EC.3.1.3.6) which first releases the phosphate at the 6-position of the ring. Certain fungal phytases reportedly hydrolyze inositol pentaphosphate to tetra-, tri-, and lower phosphates; e.g., A. ficuum phytases reportedly produce mixtures of myoinositol di- and mono-phosphate (Ullah, 1988). Phytase producing microorganisms comprise bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis (V.K. Powar and V.J. Jagannathan, J. Bacteriol. 151:1102-1108, 1982) and Pseudomonas (D.J. Cosgrove, Austral. J. Biol. Sci. 2:1207-1220, 1970); yeasts such as Sacchoromyces cerevisiae (N.R. Nayini and P. Markakis, Lebensmittel Wissenschaft und Technologie 17:24-26, 1984); and fungi such as Aspergillus terreus (K. Yamada, et al., Agric. Biol Chem. 32:1275-1282, 1968). The possible use of microbes capable of producing phytase as a feed additive for monogastric animals has been reported previously (Shieh and Ware, U.S. Patent No. 3,297,548; Nelson, T.S. et al., J. Nutrition 101:1289-1294, 1971).

[0006] Microbial phytases may also reportedly be useful for producing animal feed from certain industrial processes, e.g., wheat and corn waste products. The wet milling process of corn produces glutens sold as animal feeds. Addition of phytase may reportedly improve the nutritional value of the feed product.

[0007] A particular class of 6-phytases are encoded by appA genes from E. coli. First appA gene (Gene bank: AAA72086.1), to be cloned and sequenced was initially recognized as pH 2.5 acid phosphatase (Dassa et al., 1990). With the cloning of the second appA2 gene (Gene bank: AAR87658.1) and its overproduction in yeast Rodriguez and coworkers (Rodriguez et al., 1999) have provided direct evidence that appA enzymes are rather phytases than acid phosphatases. AppA and appA2 contain six amino acids differences, namely S102P, P195S, S197L, K202N, K298M, and T299A in the coding region of their mature protein (Rodriguez et al., 1999). However both appA and appA2 encode active 6-phytases (WO2003037102A3 and WO1999067398A3) and thus both appA and appA2 proteins are natural variants of the E. coli 6-phytase. Currently the number of appA gene encoded variants deposited in the database is about 450. Many of the deposited appA proteins contain combination variants in the six amino acids different between the appA and appA2 in their coding region.

[0008] Other appA enzyme variants have been generated in the laboratory with the aim of achieving improved enzyme properties such as intrinsic thermostability, enzyme kinetics or increased productivity of appA 6-phytases in their production hosts (Rodriguez et al 2000; WO2001036607A1; WO 2006042719 A3; WO 2003037102 A2; WO 2006042719 A3; WO 2003057247 A1}.

[0009] AppA phylase variants have been produced In yeast systems such as Pichia pastoris (a.k.a. Komagataella phaffil) (Lee 2005; WO 1999067398 A9) and Trichoderma reesei (WO 1994003612 A1).

[0010] AppA2C is identical to appA2 (AAR87658.1) with the exception of amino acids 195P, 197S. The last two are identical to appA (AAA72086.1). The sequence of appA2C Is shown herein as SEQ ID NO. 1. Appa2C Is thus a hybrid of appA and appA2 with naturally present amino acid variations.

[0011] WO2009/07799 discloses a phytase which comprises some of the mutations of SEQ: ID. No. 2 of the present application.

[0012] The overall object underlying the present Invention Is the provision of appA2C variants which exhibit an improved thermostability as compared to appA2C. Preferably these variants keep the same enzyme characteristics, such as broad pH optimum and fast enzyme kinetics. It is furthermore an object underlying the present invention to provide appA2C variants exhibiting a thermostability comparable to or higher than the phytases disclosed in WO 2003057247 A1 and US2015132383A1. Thus, the new appA2C thermostable variants are compared with two commercially available phylases, i.e. OptiPhos®and Quantum Blue 5G®, both or which are based on the appA gene variants from E. coil. The new appA2C thermostable variants shall preferably have a higher or at least comparable thermostability than these phytases.

Summary of the invention



[0013] It has been surprisingly found by the present inventors that specific variants of appA2C exhibit a drastically Improved thermostability compared to OptiPhos.® These variants exhibit particular mutations, namely at least at positions 26, 84, 159, 181, 207, 233, 277 and 349 of SEQ ID NO. 1 (appA2C).

[0014] A first sub-variant with a surprisingly Improved thermostability is the variant denominated PhOP-0093 (SEQ ID NO. 2). This variant was found to exhibit an improved thermostability compared to appA2C in that it retains 50% thermostability at a temperature which Is 13.5°C higher than for appA2C (50% thermostability at 79.5°C versus 66°C) when expressed In E. coil; and which is 20°C higher than for appA2C (50% thermostability at 86°C versus 66°C) when expressed In Pichia pastoris.

[0015] The thermostability of PhOP-0093 (i.e. the phylase having the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO. 2) Is comparable to the thermostability of Quantum Blue 5G® (50% thermostability at 89°C).

[0016] It was furthermore surprisingly found by the present inventors that certain further mutations in SEQ ID NO. 2 are responsible for an even higher thermostability. Variants exhibiting mutations at positions 26,84, 159, 181, 207, 233, 277 and 349 of SEQ ID NO. 1 (appA2C), preferably retaining the amino adds E26. W84, V159, Y181, N207, W233, D277 and Y349 of SEQ ID NO. 2, exhibit thermostability even if further variations within SEQ ID NO. 2 are made to create variants of SEQ ID NO. 2. Accordingly, the present Invention provides:
  1. 1. A phytase selected from
    1. a) a polypeptide comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO. 2,
    2. b) a variant of the polypeptide comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO. 2 which
      1. (i) retains the following amino acid positions E26, W84, V159, Y181, N207, W233, D277 and Y349 of SEQ ID NO:2,
        and includes one or more additional mutations at positions 57, 95, 129, 161, 179, 198, 201, 249, 275, 309,
    3. c) a variant of the polypeptide comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO. 2 which
      1. (i) retains the following amino acid positions E26, W84, V159, Y181, N207, W233, D277 and Y349 of SEQ ID NO:2, and
      2. (ii) exhibits a sequence identity of at least 90% with SEQ ID NO. 2,
      wherein the phytase exhibits a thermostability of 50% at 75°C, wherein the thermostability is determined by measuring the residual phytase enzymatic activity at a temperature of 37°C after having heated the phytase enzyme for 15 minutes to 75°C followed by a subsequent cooling to 37°C.

Description of the Figures



[0017] 

Figure 1 shows thermostability profiles of nine embodiments or the present invention expressed in Pichia in comparison to PhOP-wt (appA2C) and the commercially available phytase Quantum Blue 5G®.

Figure 2 shows thermostability profiles of eleven embodiments of the present Invention expressed In E. coil in comparison to PhOP-0093 and PhOP-0122.

Figure 3 shows SDS-PAGE analysis of supernatants from Pichia pastoris producing appA2C, PhOP-0136, PhOP-0142, PhOP-0161, PhOP-0175 and Quantum Blue 5G®.

Figure 4 shows SDS-PAGE analysis of purified phytases: appA2C, PhOP-0136, PhOP-0142, PhOP-0161, PhOP-0175 and Quantum Blue 5G®.

Figure 5 shows a calibration curve correlating the inorganic phosphate concentration P, with the absorbance at 820 nm, A820. Data points of four different microliter assay plates ("Fag 1-12-1", "Fag 1-12-2", "Fag 1-17-1", "Fag 1-17-2") are included.

Figure 6 shows the percentage recovery of active enzyme In phytase activity units after pelletizing compared to mash, I.e. before pelletizing. Higher amounts of PhOP-0136, PhOP-0142, PhOP-0161 and PhOP-0175 were obtained at both 80° C and 90° C as compared to OptiPhos® and al 90°C as compared to Quantum blue®

Figure 7 shows the effects of different phytases on the growth performance of broilers. Final body weight and FCR at day 35. PhOP-136 and PhOP-161 showed excellent performance, in parts better than OptiPhos®.

Figure 8 shows the effects of different phylases on bone mineralization of broiler chickens. Tibia ash data at 21 days. PhOP-161 showed excellent performance, better than OptiPhos®.


Details of the invention



[0018] The present invention provides phytase variants with an Increased thermostability compared to appA2C or likewise compared to OptiPhos®. The variants are denominated PhOP- variants ("phytase Escherichia coli" variants). Some explicit variants are shown In SEQ ID NOs. 2-11. The numbering of amino adds In these variants follows the numbering of SEQ ID NO. 1 (appA2C), which corresponds to the numbering of the wHd type phytase appA2 (AAR87658.1) as published in Rodriguez et al., 1999. AppA2 and appA2C encompass 432 amino adds including a native signal sequence (22 amino acids) followed by the mature phytase sequence (410 amino acids), The native signal sequence Is shown in SEQ ID NO.12.

[0019] The phytase variants of the present invention exhibit excellent thermostability. "Thermostability" is determined by measuring the residual phytase enzymatic activity at a temperature of 37°C (body temperature) after having heated the phytase enzyme for 15 minutes to a certain temperature followed by a subsequent cooling to 37°C. The reference enzymatic activity is determined after exposing the enzyme for 15 minutes to 25°C and subsequently measuring the enzymatic activity at 37°C. By comparing to this later enzymatic activity, the relative activity Is calculated.

[0020] The 50% thermostability ("TM50 value") is the temperature where an enzyme retains 50% of its activity after a heat treatment. TM50 values are indicative for the evaluation and comparison of enzyme thermostability.

[0021] AppA gene variants can be expressed in any eukaryotic or prokaryotic expression system. Preferably, the appA phytase variants are produced in E. coli and Pichia pastoris after codon usage optimization. Preferably the synthetic gene variants encoding PhOP- variant phytases are cloned into plasmids for expression in E. coli using a strong promoter such as the T7 promoter or In P. pastoris using a strong promoter such as AOX. To achieve secretion into the periplasm (E. coli) or the medium (Pichia) the native signal sequence (E. coli, 22 amino acids long) or the alfa mating factor (Pichia, 89 amino acids long) were used as N-terminal signal sequences and fused to the appA2C mature protein.

[0022] Preferably PhOP- phytase variants are expressed in E. coli in shake flasks or in 96-well plates. A preferred promoter is the strong T7 promoter. Preferably precultures containing one single clone per well are incubated overnight. After harvesting, the cells are lysed by subjecting the cell suspension to three freezing-thawing cycles in lysis buffer (100 mM sodium citrate buffer (pH 5.5), 2 mM MgCl2, 0.5 mg/ml lysozyme, 20 U/ml NuCLEANase). Crude cell extracts are obtained after centrifugation and collection of the supernatants upon separation from the cell debris.

[0023] Preferably, the enzymatic activity of phytases is determined by screening assays as follows: Phytases are expressed in host cells, preferably E. coli or Pichia pastoris host cells. Enzyme extracts from E. coli or Pichia pastoris are incubated for 15 minutes at the temperature chosen for the heat step as well as room temperature (reference) following incubation on ice and centrifugation. Afterwards the phytase activities are determined at 37°C (body temperature). Enzymatic activities of phytase in 96 well plates is performed by adaptation of the method of Kim and Lei, J. Anim. Sci. 2005. 83:1062-1067.

[0024] The phosphate released from phytate by a 2-step procedure is determined photometrically:





[0025] Table 1: Nine explicit appa2C variants (SEQ ID NOs. 3-11) compared to appA2C. These variants exhibit extraordinary thermostability.

[0026] SEQ ID NO:2 is the sequence of PhOP-0093, SEQ ID NO:3 is the sequence of PhOP-0136, SEQ ID NO:4 is the sequence of PhOP-0138, SEQ ID NO:5 is the sequence of PhOP-0142, SEQ ID NO:6 is the sequence of PhOP-0161, SEQ ID NO:7 is the sequence of PhOP-0169, SEQ ID NO:8 is the sequence of PhOP-0175, SEQ ID NO:9 is the sequence of PhOP-0176, SEQ ID NO:10 is the sequence of PhOP-0179, SEQ ID NO:11 is the sequence of PhOP-0180.

[0027] It was surprisingly identified that the mutations at position 26, 84, 159, 181, 207, 233, 277 and 349 of appA2C (SEQ ID NO. 1) are essential to the increase in thermostability. While other mutations or changes in the amino acid sequence are possible, or even beneficial, these 8 mutations of the appA2C sequence, resulting in PhOP-0093 (with mutations 26E, 84W, 159V. 181Y, 207N, 233W, 277D and 349Y relative to SEQ ID NO:1) were key to the improvement in the thermostability. Thermostability is increased, if the phytases are expressed in E. coli (see Table 2).



Phytases expressed In yeast host cells instead of bacterial host cells exhibit an even higher thermostability. This is shown In Table 3. All variants exhibit a thermostability comparable to or higher than Quantum Blue 5G®. Raw data is shown In Figure 1.

[0028] Further variants of PhOP-0093 exhibiting a surprisingly high thermostability are shown below.

[0029] Some of the phytase variants of the invention have the amino acid sequences of phytase variants of SEQ ID NOs: 2 - 11. All phytase variants of the Invention are characterized by catalyzing the hydrolysis of phytate to inositol and free phosphate with the release of minerals from the phytic acid complex and having an improved thermostability.

[0030] Also Included in the invention are polypeptides having sequences that are "substantially Identical" to the sequence of a phytase polypeptide. A "substantially identical" amino acid sequence is a sequence that differs from a reference sequence only by conservative amino acid substitutions, for example, substitutions of one amino acid for another of the same class (e.g., substitution of one hydrophobic amino acid, such as isoleucine, valine, leucine, or methionine, for another, or substitution of one polar amino acid for another, such as substitution of arginine for lysine, glutamic acid for aspartic acid, or glutamine for asparagine).

[0031] Fragments of the phytase variants of the present invention retain at least one phytase-specific activity or epitope. Phytase activity can be assayed by examining the conversion of phytate to inositol and free phosphate.

[0032] For example, a fragment containing, e.g., at least 8-10 amino acids can be used as an immunogen in the production of phytase-specific antibodies. In addition to their use as peptide immunogens, the above-described phytase fragments can be used in immunoassays, such as ELISAs, to detect the presence of phytase-specific antibodies in samples.

[0033] Other phytase variants included in the invention are variants having amino acid sequences that exhibit a sequence identity of at least 90% with SEQ ID NO. 2, preferably 95%, more preferably 98%, most preferably 99%.

[0034] The length of the amino acid sequence for determining amino acid sequence identity can be, for example, at least 20 amino acids, for example, at least 25, or 35 amino acids. Preferably, the length of the amino acid sequence for determining amino acid sequence identity, is 400 amino acids, more preferably 410 amino acids, most preferably 432 amino acids. Identity can be measured using standard sequence analysis software (e.g., Sequence Analysis Software Package of the Genetics Computer Group, University of Wisconsin Biotechnology Center, 1710 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53705; also see Ausubel, et al., supra). Such procedures and algorithms include, for example, a BLAST program (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool at the National Center for Biological Information), ALIGN, AMAS (Analysis of Multiply Aligned Sequences), AMPS (Protein Multiple Sequence Alignment), ASSET (Aligned Segment Statistical Evaluation Tool), BANDS, BESTSCOR, BIOSCAN (Biological Sequence Comparative Analysis Node), BLIMPS (BLocks IMProved Searcher), FASTA, Intervals & Points, BMB, CLUSTAL V, CLUSTAL W, CONSENSUS, LCONSENSUS, WCONSENSUS, Smith-Waterman algorithm, DARWIN, Las Vegas algorithm, FNAT (Forced Nucleotide Alignment Tool), Framealign, Framesearch, DYNAMIC, FILTER, FSAP (Fristensky Sequence Analysis Package), GAP (Global Alignment Program), GENAL, GIBBS, GenQuest, ISSC (Sensitive Sequence Comparison), LALIGN (Local Sequence Alignment), LCP (Local Content Program), MACAW (Multiple Alignment Construction & Analysis Workbench), MAP (Multiple Alignment Program), MBLKP, MBLKN, PIMA (Pattern-Induced Multi-sequence Alignment), SAGA (Sequence Alignmnet by Genetic ALgorithm) and WHAT-IF.

[0035] The phytase polypeptides of the invention can be obtained using a recombinant expression system (see below), chemically synthesized (this approach may be more suitable for small phytase peptide fragments), or purified from organisms in which they are naturally expressed.

[0036] The invention also provides isolated nucleic acid molecules that encode the phytase polypeptides described above. For example, nucleic acids that encode any of SEQ ID NOs:2-11 are included in the invention. These nucleic acids can contain naturally occurring nucleotide sequences, or degenerated sequences still encoding the same amino acid sequence. The nucleic acid sequences of the invention can contain DNA or RNA nucleotides, or combinations or modifications thereof.

[0037] The present invention also relates to vectors which include nucleic acid sequences of the present invention, host cells which are genetically engineered to include the vectors of the invention and the production of enzymes of the invention by recombinant techniques.

[0038] Host cells are genetically engineered (transduced or transformed or transfected) with the vectors containing the nucleic acid sequences of this invention. Such vectors may be, for example, a cloning vector or an expression vector. The vector may be, for example, in the form of a plasmid, a viral particle, a phage, etc. The engineered host cells can be cultured in conventional nutrient media modified as appropriate for activating promoters, selecting transformants or amplifying the genes of the present invention. The culture conditions, such as temperature, pH and the like, are those appropriate for the host cell selected for expression, and will be apparent to the ordinarily skilled artisan.

[0039] The nucleic acid sequences of the present invention may be employed for producing enzymes by recombinant techniques. Thus, for example, the nucleic acid sequence may be included in any one of a variety of expression vectors for expressing an enzyme. Such vectors include chromosomal, nonchromosomal and synthetic DNA sequences, e.g., derivatives of SV40; bacterial plasmids; phage DNA; baculovirus; yeast plasmids; vectors derived from combinations of plasmids and phage DNA, viral DNA such as vaccinia, adenovirus, fowl pox virus, and pseudorabies. However, any other vector may be used as long as it is replicable and viable in the host.

[0040] The appropriate nucleic acid sequence may be inserted into the vector by a variety of procedures. In general, the DNA sequence is inserted into an appropriate restriction endonuclease site(s) by procedures known in the art. Such procedures and others are deemed to be within the knowledge of those skilled in the art.

[0041] The nucleic acid sequence in the expression vector is operatively linked to an appropriate expression control sequence(s) (promoter) to direct mRNA synthesis. As representative examples of such promoters, there may be mentioned: LTR or SV40 promoter, the E. coli. lac or trp, the phage lambda PL promoter and other promoters known to control expression of genes in prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells or their viruses. The expression vector may also contain a ribosome binding site for translation initiation and a transcription terminator. The vector may also include appropriate sequences for amplifying expression.

[0042] In addition, the expression vector preferably contains one or more selectable marker genes to provide a phenotypic trait for selection of transformed host cells such as dihydrofolate reductase, zeocin or neomycin resistance for eukaryotic cell culture, or such as tetracycline or ampicillin resistance in E. coli.

[0043] The vector containing the appropriate DNA sequence as hereinabove described, as well as an appropriate promoter or control sequence, may be employed to transform an appropriate host to permit the host to express the polypeptide.

[0044] As representative examples of appropriate hosts, there may be mentioned: bacterial cells, such as E. coli, Streptomyces, Bacillus subtilis; fungal cells, such as yeast; insect cells such as Drosophila S2 and Spodoptera Sf9; animal cells adenoviruses; plant cells, etc. The selection of an appropriate host is deemed to be within the knowledge of those skilled in the art from the teachings herein. Preferred host cells are bacterial and fungal host cells. More preferred are yeasts, including, for example, Saccharomyces, Kluyveromyces, Torulaspora, Schizosaccharomyces, Pichia, Hansenula, Torulopsis, Candida, and Karwinskia species. The yeast can be a methylotrophic strain, e.g., strains of Pichia, Hansenula, Torulopsis, Candida, and Karwinskia. As noted above, the host cell can be a non-yeast cell. Non-yeast cells of particular interest include, for example, Aspergillus species, Trichoderma species, Neurospora species, Myceliopthora species, Penicillium species, Bacillus species and Lactococcus species.

[0045] The recombinant phytases can be produced by using intracellular expression, or by extracellular secretion into the cell culture media.

[0046] Host cells are typically harvested by centrifugation, disrupted by physical or chemical means, and the resulting crude extract retained for further purification.

[0047] Host cells employed in expression of enzymes can be disrupted by any convenient method, including freeze-thaw cycling, sonication, mechanical disruption, or use of cell lysing agents, such methods are well known to those skilled in the art.

[0048] The enzyme can be recovered and purified from recombinant cell cultures by methods including ammonium sulfate or ethanol precipitation, acid extraction, anion or cation exchange chromatography, phosphocellulose chromatography, hydrophobic interaction chromatography, affinity chromatography, hydroxylapatite chromatography and lectin chromatography. Protein refolding steps can be used, as necessary, in completing configuration of the mature protein. Finally, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can be employed for final purification steps.

[0049] The enzymes of the present invention may be a purified natural product, or a product of chemical synthetic procedures, or obtained by recombinant techniques from a prokaryotic or eukaryotic host (for example, by bacteria, yeast, higher plant, insect or mammalian cells in culture). Depending upon the host employed in a recombinant production procedure, the enzymes of the present invention may be glycosylated or may be non-glycosylated. Enzymes of the invention may or may not also include an initial methionine amino acid residue.

[0050] The enzyme of this invention may be employed for any purpose in which such enzyme activity is necessary or desired. In a preferred embodiment the enzyme is employed for catalyzing the hydrolysis of phytate. The degradation of phytate may be beneficial in animal feed.

Examples


1 General methods and analytics


1.1 Expression in E. coli and preparation of PhOP- wildtype and variants in a screening procedure (microtiter plate (MTP) format



[0051] Expression of PhOP- in E. coli: E. coli BL21(DE3) cells transformed with plasmid pLE1A17 (derivative of pRSF-1b, Novagen) carrying the PhOP- gene with its native N-terminal signal sequence was cultivated in ZYM5052 medium (F. William Studier, Protein Expression and Purification 41 (2005) 207-234) supplemented with kanamycin (50 mg/l) and grown overnight at 30 °C. Cells were harvested and lysed by three freezing-thawing cycles in lysis buffer (100 mM sodium citrate buffer, pH 5.5, 2 mM MgCl2, 0.5 mg/ml lysozyme, 20 U/ml NuCLEANase (c-LEcta GmbH)). Crude cell extracts were obtained after centrifugation and collection of the supernatants from cell debris.

1.2 Determination of volumetric activity of phytase



[0052] The general principle is a photometrical determination of Pi released from phytate by a two-step reaction as shown in Scheme 1.



[0053] Inorganic phosphate (Pi) was released from phytate by action of phytase in a buffer composed of 1 % (w/v) phytate, 0.2 M sodium citrate, pH 5.5.. After incubation at 37 °C for 30 minutes phytase reactions were stopped by addition of 1 volume of 15 % trichloracetic acid (TCA). Blank assay controls for determination of potential phosphate contamination of phytase samples were taken along by mixing phytase samples with 15 % TCA and afterwards with the substrate buffer. In the second step the Pi released during phytase reaction was determined by complexation with ammonium molybdate. The stopped reaction assays were diluted 10 fold with H2O and 75 µl of the diluted samples were mixed with 75 µl of complexing Reagent (0.5 % ammonium molybdate, 0.6 M sulfuric acid, 2 % ascorbic acid). After incubation for 60 minutes at 37 °C the absorption at a wavelength of 820 nm was measured. Quantification was done by comparison to a phosphate calibration curve.

[0054] By this method the Pi concentration could be determined very accurately over a broad range. In a preferred embodiment, phytase activity is determined for phytase expressed in E. coli and in Pichia pastoris.

1.3 Determination of Tm50-values (Thermostability)



[0055] The Tm50-value was defined as the temperature where an enzyme retains 50 % of its activity after a heat treatment and is therefore indicative for the evaluation and relevant for comparison of an enzyme's thermostability. Samples containing phytase were subjected to heat treatments at temperatures ranging between 58-99 °C for 15 min and were compared to a sample incubated at 25 °C for normalization of residual activities. After a regeneration step for 30 minutes on ice and centrifugation to remove precipitated protein, the volumetric activities in the samples were determined using the screening assay described in section 1.2. By plotting residual activities against incubation temperaturs the Tm50-values were derived from these graphs.

1.4 Subcloning and expression of PhOP- variants in Pichia



[0056] The genes of variants selected by screening in the E. coli system were subcloned into Pichia expression plasmid pLE3B06 under the control of the AOX-Promotor. To achieve secretion into the medium the native N-terminal signal sequence used in the E. coli system was replaced by the alpha-mating factor signal sequence. Transformation of the P. pastoris strain LE3A100 was done with the linearized pLE3B06-PhOP- construct. Positive transformation clones were selected by supplementing Pichia standard medium YPD with 100 µg/ml zeocin. PhOP- clones were precultured in shaking flasks in BMGY medium overnight at 30°C. Expression was done in Pichia standard medium BMMY after methanol induction of the AOX promoter. BMGY and BMMY media are described in Pichia expression kit K1710-01 manual from ThermoFisher Scientific. BMMY cultures were inoculated with 1/30 volume of BMGY precultures. Each 24 h expression culture was fed by addition of 0.5% (v/v) of the inducer methanol. Expression was performed for 72 h followed by centrifugation and recovery of the culture supernatants. In order to remove the phosphate present in the BMMY standard medium the supernatants were rebuffered into 0.2 M sodium citrate buffer (pH 5.5) before activity determination. Rebuffering was done using PD-10 Columns from GE Healthcare following the manufacturer's protocol.

2. Engineering of PhOP



[0057] An approach for improving performance of enzymes and their suitability for use in industrial processes is enzyme engineering. This technique involves developing variants of a starting enzyme with improved properties (for review, see, for example, S. Lutz, U.T. Bornscheuer, Protein Engineering Handbook, Wiley VCH, Weinheim, 2009). Variant libraries of PhOP-were created and screened in E. coli with the methods described in 1.1 and 1.2. The template enzyme for the enzyme engineering was PhOP-0093 (SEQ ID NO. 2)

[0058] In the general enzyme engineering strategy, phytase variants with individual aminoacids mutations were screened and beneficial mutations were subsequently recombined together to generate new libraries.

[0059] Firstly, in a screening of a variant library of PhOP-0093 a series of enzyme variants with improved thermostability were identified (Table 4).



[0060] Further recombining individual mutations and library screening yielded a series of variants with significantly improved thermostability and containing various combinations of amino acid exchanges in positions 57, 95, 129, 161, 179, 198, 201, 249, 275, and 309 (Table 5).



[0061] For a selection of eleven variants (marked in right column in Table 5) thermostability profiles were generated to determine Tm50-values in comparison with PhOP-0093 and PhOP-0122 (Figure 2). Thermostability profiles revealed improvements of Tm50-values by recombination of beneficial mutations between -6-8°C over the most stable variant PhOP-0122 from mutant libraries or -8-10°C in comparison to PhOP-0093. Taking into account the stability improvement of PhOP-0093 (from E. coli) over OptiPhos® reference by 13.5°C, recombination variants from E. coli are between 21.5-23.5°C more stable than the OptiPhos® reference. Data are shown in Table 6.

[0062] Variants prepared from Pichia were expected to be even more stable than variants expressed in E. coli. Accordingly, eight variants tested in E. coli and an additionally ninth variant (PhOP-0180) carrying beneficial mutations in all 10 positions were chosen for subsequent sub-cloning and expression in Pichia according to section 1.4. The thermostability of these variants are shown in Table 7 and Figure 1.



A comparison of the thermostability profiles (Figure 1) revealed highly improved stabilities compared to the OptiPhos® reference for all of the final PhOP- variants generated. The thermostability Increase by 24.5 to >33°C Is shown by enhanced Tm50-values. In comparison to the template variant PhOP-0093 the thermostability was further improved by 4.5 to 13°C. Consequently, all final variants show higher thermostability than the commercially available phytase Quantum Blue 5G®. The most stable variants PhOP-0161 and PhDP-0175 are al least -10°C more stable than Quantum Blue 5G®. The variants expressed and glycosylated by Pichia are more stable than enzymes from E. coli and they do not get completely inactivated at high temperatures but retain rather high residual activities of 30% and higher (e.g. PhOP-0161 with -60% residual activity after 99°C incubation).

3. New thermostable variants with Increased catalytic rate of phytate diphosphorylation



[0063] Four of the new highly thermostable phytase variants were expressed In Pichia pastoris, and purified to homogeneity. Their Michaelis-Menten kinetics were studied In great detail at conditions similar to the monogastric animal's digestive tract: i.e. at pH 2-4 and a temperature of 39°C.

[0064] Figure 3 shows SDS-PAGE analysis of Pichia pastoris supernatants producing appA2C, PhOP-0136, PhOP-0142, PhOP-0161. PhOP-0175 and Quantum Blue 5G® commercial product.

[0065] Recombinant proteins were purified using combination of conventional chromatography and ultrafiltration and their enzymatic properties were analyzed in in vitro kinetic studies using phytate as substrate.

[0066] Figure 4 shows 5DS-PAGE analysis of purified phylases: appA2C, PhOP-0136, PhOP-0142, PhOP-0161, PhOP-0175 and Quantum Blue SG®.

4. Determination of kinetic parameters



[0067] Different kinetic parameters for phylate hydrolysis were determined In Glycine-HCl reaction buffer at pH range 2.D - 4.0 and temperature 39°C, both relevant for the animal (poultry and pigs) digestive tract. The Km and Vmax values for different phytase preparations were calculated from Lineweaver-Burk plot using substrate concentrations ranging from 0.02 - 0.17 mM.

[0068] A variant PhOP-0136 was identified to be particularly interesting as it displayed a high catalytic rate Kcat against phylate in addition to its high thermostability. A variant PhOP-0161 was also interesting as it possessed high Kcat/Km ratio indicating combination of higher substrate specificity and catalytic efficiency a.k.a, catalytic perfection (Berg, J. M., Tymoczko, J. L., Stryer, L., Berg, J. M., Tymoczko, J. L, & Stryer, L. (2002). Biochemistry (51h ed.), W H Freeman. Section 6.4 The Michaelis-Menten Model Accounts for the Kinetic Properties of Many Enzymes.) than OptiPhos® and Quantum Blue 5G® at the pH range of 2-4.


5. Pelletizing Test



[0069] Thermal Stability of OptiPhos®, Quantum Blue® and four enzymes of the present invention was tested In a pelletizing experiment. This test shows the practical relevance of the Improved thermostability of the enzymes of the present Invention as opposed to OptiPhos® and Quantum blue®. In pelletizing feed under high temperatures of 80 and 90 °C. for about 1 min, Ihe enzymes of the present invention were more stable than OptiPhos® and Quantum blue®. Data of this experiment are shown In Figure 6.

[0070] Batches of broiler feed were pelletized with steam conditioning at 80 and 90 °C. Broiler feed was delivered by Cibus NV. 200,00 g enzyme were mixed with 200 kg of broiler feed In a vertical screw mixer. After 15 minutes of mixing the feed was pelletized on a Labor Monoroll Pellet mill with a 4 x 50 mm die with steam conditioning at different temperatures.

[0071] The pellets were cooled immediately after pelletizing with a forced air cooler at ambient air temperature.

[0072] Figure 6 shows the percentage recovery of active enzyme (determined by activity assay ISO30024:2009) after pelletizing compared to mash, i.e. before pelletizing. Higher amounts of PhOP-0136, PhOP-0142, PhOP-0161 and PhOP-0175 were obtained at both 80°C and 90°C as compared to OptiPhos® and at 90 C as compared to Quantum blue®.

6. Feed Efficacy Tests



[0073] In a trial of the University of Warmia and Maszury, Poland the effect of the new phytases PhOP-0136 and PhOP-0161 was tested and compared to OptiPhos® on ROSS 308 male chickens.

[0074] The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of different phytases on the performance parameters such as weight gain and bone mineralization as indication of phosphate incorporation. In total of 1056 healthy day old male Ross 308 broilers (Gallus gallus) were split into eight treatment groups (T1-8):
T1 - Positive control (sufficient in P)
T2 - Negative control (reduced in P)
T3 - Negative control + PhOP-0136 - 250 FTU/kg
T4 - Negative control + PhOP-0136 - 500 FTU/kg
T5 - Negative control + PhOP-0161 - 250 FTU/kg
T6 - Negative control + PhOP-0161 - 500 FTU/kg
T7 - Negative control + PhOP-0175 - 250 FTU/kg
T8 - Negative control + TSP 175 - 500 FTU/kg


[0075] The birds were kept in floor pens - 96 pens In total, 0.7 m2 each. Every treatment group had 12 pens (replicates) in each, 11 birds in each pen - 132 birds per treatment group. The length of rearing period was 35 days. The birds were sexed at the hatchery to ensure only males were selected and after transporting to the farm randomly distributed to the separate treatments and replicates. The trial ran In a common poultry house with artificial lightening program, automated gas heating and forced ventilation. The heating program was conducted according the recommendations of Ross (Ross Manual (2014): www.aviagen.com). From day 1 to day 3 the temperature was about 29-30 °C, then slowly decreased to reach 21 °C at day 21 and this temperature was kept at 21 °C till the end of the study. The humidity was between 65-70% till day 9 and then between 60-70% till the end of experiment. Feed and water were supplied ad libitum.

[0076] Test materials were 6-phylase preparations produced by the Huvepharma: PhOP-0136, PhOP-0161 and OptiPhos®. For all three phytases, each lime two premixes were provided, pre-diluted with carrier (wheat flour) to achieve a concentration in the feed of respectively 250 FTU/kg and 500 FTU/kg when added at to the feed at 500 g/ton. Levels of the added phylase in the feed were verified using ISO30024:2009 method.

[0077] The phytase activity In phytases pre-diluted with carrier (wheat flour) of the different treatments and the batch number of the corresponding phytase product Is shown below:



[0078] The basal feed mixtures were prepared In the feed mill Research Diet Services. The Netherlands. The mixtures were pelleted al 70 °C. The composition and nutritional value of basal feed mixtures is shown In tables 9 and 10. To avoid heallh problems in the negative control group (T2) due to insufficient phosphorus In the diet, the birds from all treatments received the same starter diet till day 5 that met the nutritional requirements of a broiler chick. (Table 9). The positive control feed mixtures was the experimental diet for group T1, and the negative control feed mixture for groups for T2 toT8. Diets were formulated in such way to obtain a difference in available phosphorous between negative and the positive control diet of approximately 1.5 g/kg. The experimental diets for T3-T8 were prepared by using the negative control diet mixture and adding the respective phytase preparations.

[0079] During the rearing period feed phases in pelleted form were used:
  • 1 - 5 days - starter diet (same for all treatments)
  • 6 - 21 days - grower diet
  • 22 - 35 days - finisher diet


[0080] The composition of the diets is shown in tables 9 and 10
Table 9. Composition of the positive control diets, %
CompoundsStarter (1-5 days)Grower (6-21 days)Finisher (22-35 days)
Corn 36.18 57.00 54.59
Wheat 25.00 - -
Soybean meal 31.50 25.20 19.60
Rapeseed meal - 10.00 15.00
Animal fat (lard) - 3.00 4.00
Soybean oil 2.90 1.40 2.55
Na-Bicarbonate 0.26 0.21 0.20
Salt 0.21 0.22 0.20
Limestone 1.39 1.11 0.97
MCP 1.56 0.98 0.84
DL-Methionine 0.24 0.18 0.19
L-Lysine 0.18 0.17 0.26
L-Threonine 0.06 0.03 0.06
L-Valine 0.03 - 0.05
TiO2 - - 1.00
Premix (corn) 0.50 0.50 0.50
 
Nutrients density
ME (kcal/kg) 2851 2902 2951
Crude protein (g/kg) 214.80 204.80 193.50
Crude fibre (g/kg) 24.20 31.10 34.50
Crude fat (g/kg) 52.20 74.20 95.00
Crude ash (g/kg) 60.90 54.50 61.40
Dig. Lysine (g/kg) 10.99 10.32 10.22
Dig. Methionine (g/kg) 5.15 4.69 4.69
Dig. Met. + Cys (g/kg) 8.04 7.53 7.46
Dig. Threonine (g/kg) 7.13 6.75 6.65
Dig. Valine (g/kg) 8.78 8.25 8.14
Calcium (g/kg) 9.00 7.50 7.00
Total Phosphorus (g/kg) 7.10 6.30 6.00
Av. Phosphorus (g/kg) 4.49 3.41 3.10
Table 10. Composition of the negative control diets, %
CompoundsStarter (1-5 days)Grower (6-21 days)Finisher (22-35 days)
Corn   58.27 55.80
Wheat   - -
Soybean meal   25.20 19.40
Rapeseed meal   10.00 15.00
Animal fat (lard)   3.00 4.00
Soybean oil   0.95 2.15
Na-Bicarbonate   0.21 0.20
Salt   0.22 0.20
Limestone   1.16 1,02
MCP   0.31 0.18
DL-Methionine   0.18 0.19
L-Lysine   0.18 0.26
L-Threonine   0.03 0.06
L-Valine   - 0.05
Ti02   - 1.00
Premix (corn)   0.50 0.50
 
Nutrients density
ME (kcal/kg)   2901 2952
Crude protein (g/kg)   204.90 193.50
Crude fibre (g/kg)   31.20 34.60
Crude fat (g/kg)   70.30 91.50
Crude ash (g/kg)   48.40 55.40
Dig. Lysine (g/kg)   10.32 10.18
Dig. Methionine (g/kg)   4.69 4.70
Dig. Met. + Cys (g/kg)   7.55 7.47
Dig. Threonine (g/kg)   6.74 6.64
Dig. Valine (g/kg)   8.25 8.13
Calcium (g/kg)   6.50 6.00
Total Phosphorus (g/kg)   4.80 4.60
Av. Phosphorus (g/kg)   1.91 1.62

Measurements



[0081] Below, the following abbreviations will be used
AbbreviationMeaning
BW Body Weight
FI Feed Intake
FCR Feed Conversion Rate
ADG Average Daily Gain
ADFI Average Daily Feed Intake


[0082] Body weight (BW) of broilers (pen basis) was measured at days 1, 5, 21 and 35. Feed consumption (feed intake, FI) was measured for experimental periods: 1-5, 6-21, 22-35 and 1-35 days. For bone ash analyses: 2 birds from each pen with average weight were taken in age of 21 days, then the right tibias were removed and both samples pooled. The samples were analyzed for percentage of ash content and the ash residue stored separate for further analysis if needed.

[0083] The study schedule was as follows:
d1-d5 12/12/17 - 16/12/17 all chickens on positive control starter diet containing sufficient P level
d5 17/12/17 BW, FI, FCR + switch to grower according to respective treatments
d21 2/01/18 BW, FI, FCR + tibia ash (2 chickens /pen) + switch to finisher (with marker)
d31-d33 12/01/18 - 14/01/18 3 days of fecal sampling
d35 16/01/18 End of study - BW, FI, FCR

6.1 Growth performance during starting period (1-5 days)



[0084] At start of the experiment the average body weight of day-old chickens was 38.9 g. During the starter period (1-5 days) the birds consumed in average 121.0 g of feed per bird and the average feed conversion ratio was 1.100 kg/kg. During this period, all treatment groups received the same starter diet.

6.2 Body weight (BW) and average daily gain (ADG)



[0085] After weighing at day 5 the replicates were exchanged between treatments when needed to reach the same average body weight in all treatment groups before start of the main experiment. There were significant differences in body weight (BW) at the end of the grower period (day 21) between treatments. The birds from the PC group (T1) were significantly heavier than those from NC group (T2) and all phytase supplemented groups, the only exception being birds of T6 (PhOP- 161 at 500 FTU/kg feed) who had a similar weight as the PC. Also the addition of phytase preparations in treatments T3-T8 significantly improved body weight and average daily gain (ADG) compared to NC group (T2) by the end of the grower period. During the finisher period (22-35 days) the ADG of PC birds and those from all phytase treatments (except T3 - only near significant trend, P=0.074) was significantly higher than in NC treatment (T2). The body weight at the end of experiment (day 35) and ADG for the entire experiment (6-35 days) were significantly higher in PC (T1, 10.80%) and all phytase treatments (from 7.70 in T7 to 12.44% in T6) than the birds from NC group (T2). Birds from all phytase treatments showed similar final BW and ADG over the test period as each other and the PC. The final body weight in all treatment groups (except NC - T2) was higher than Ross 308 standards (2.283 kg).

6.3 Average daily feed intake (ADFI)



[0086] Overall, there were near-significant differences in average daily feed intake between treatments during the grower period (6-21 days; P=0.055) and the entire experimental period (6-35 days; P=0.070), The birds from T5 (PhOP- 161- 250 FTU/kg) & T6 (PhOP- 161 - 500 FTU/kg) tended to consume more feed (0.05<p<0.10) than those from NC (T2) treatment during the grower period. For the entire experiment the T6 birds lended to consume more feed than the NC birds (T2). During the finisher period (22-35 days) there was a significant effect of treatment on average dally feed intake. Birds from T5 (PhOP- 161- 250 FTU/kg) & T6 (PhOP- 161 - 500 FTU/kg) consumed significantly more feed than the NC (T2) birds and additionally T6 birds consumed significantly more than T3 (PhOP- 136 - 250 FTU/kg) birds.

6.4 Feed conversion ratio (FCR)



[0087] There were significant differences In FCR during grower period (6-21 days) between treatments. The birds of T2 (NC) - showed numerically the worst FCR, and the PC birds (T1) and the birds of T6 (PhOP- 161 at 500 FTU/kg) significantly better converted feed than those from NC group (T2). T5 (PhOP- 161- 250 FTU/kg) & T7 (OptiPhos®-250 FTU/kg) were the only phytase treatments that had a FCR that was significantly worse than the PC (T1). During the finisher period (22-35 days) the FCR values of PC birds and of birds from all phylase treatments (except T6 - only near significant trend, P=0.051) were significantly lower than in NC treatment (T2).

[0088] During the entire experiment (6-35 days) the FCR for PC birds (T1) was significantly better than for birds from NC group (T2) and T7 (OpliPhos®-250 FTU/kg) (-6.49% and -2.66%, respectively). Birds from all phytase supplemented treatments (T3-T8) significantly improved FCR (from -3.73% to -6.13% In T7 and T8, respectively) compared to NC group (T2). Birds from T3-T6 and T6 showed a similar FCR as the T1 (PC) birds.

6.5 Tibia ash



[0089] The decrease of available Ca and P levels in the diets for negative control birds (T2) resulted in significantly lower tibia ash content compared with positive control birds (T1). The birds from all phytase treatments (T3-T8) were characterized by significantly higher tibia ash content compared to negative control birds (T2). Birds from T6 (PhOP- 161 - 500 FTU/kg) and T8 (OpliPhos® 500 FTU/kg) had similar tibia ash content as the T1 (PC) birds.

6.6 Conclusions



[0090] The addition of different phytase preparations at 250 and 500 FTU/kg to the NC diet had a significant positive effect on:
  1. 1) the BW and ADWG of birds from all phytase supplemented groups (T3-T8) over the experimental period,
  2. 2) the FCR of birds from all phylase supplemented groups,
  3. 3) the tibia ash from all phylase supplemented groups,


[0091] Data are shown in tables 11 to 13 below and in figures 7 and 8. Overall, PhOP-161 turned out to be most promising in all experiments (BW, ADG, FCR and tibia ash). Also PhOP-136 showed excellent performance In all experiments resembling the data of commercial OptiPhos®.

[0092] The data show that the new phytase variants provided in this invention release available phosphorous from feeding stuffs and provide excellent broiler growth performance parameters, such as bone mineralization, BW, ADG and FCR.





[0093] The data of Table 12 are also shown In Figure 7.



[0094] The data of Table 13 are also shown in Figure 8.

7. Summary



[0095] Starting point or engineering phylase of the invention was the phylase variant PhOP-0093, whose thermostability was already Improved by 20°C compared to OptiPhos®phylase. The further improvement of thermostability succeeded quite well. Mutagenesis and screening In E. coli resulted in improvements by up to 3°C to PhOP-0093. Recombination of the beneficial mutations lead to further, distinctly enhanced stabilities of 8 -10°C over PhOP-0093. The transfer of these stability Improvements from screening host E. coli to final production host Pichia pastoris was accomplished well and again enhanced by glycosylation effects.

[0096] Achieved overall thermostability improvements of PhOP- variants over those from commercial phytases are between 24.5 to 33°C (OptiPhos®) and 1.5 to 10°C (Quantum Blue 5G).

[0097] Final variants carry 16-18 mutations compared to sequence appA2C (PhOP-wt):


SEQUENCE LISTING



[0098] 

<110> HUVEPHARMA EOOD

<120> New Thermostable Phytases

<130> A29685HVGS

<160> 12

<170> PatentIn version 3.5

<210> 1
<211> 410
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Mature phytase variant starting from Q23; PhOP-wt (AppA2c)

<400> 1



<210> 2
<211> 410
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Mature phytase variant starting from Q23; PhOP-0093

<400> 2



<210> 3
<211> 410
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Mature phytase variant starting from Q23; PhOP-0136

<400> 3





<210> 4
<211> 410
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Mature phytase variant starting from Q23; PhOP-0138

<400> 4





<210> 5
<211> 410
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Mature phytase variant starting from Q23; PhOP-0142

<400> 5





<210> 6
<211> 410
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Mature phytase variant starting from Q23; PhOP-0161

<400> 6



<210> 7
<211> 410
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Mature phytase variant starting from Q23; PhOP-0169

<400> 7



<210> 8
<211> 410
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Mature phytase variant starting from Q23; PhOP-0175

<400> 8





<210> 9
<211> 410
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Mature phytase variant starting from Q23; PhOP-0176

<400> 9





<210> 10
<211> 410
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Mature phytase variant starting from Q23; PhOP-0179

<400> 10





<210> 11
<211> 410
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Mature phytase variant starting from Q23; PhOP-0180

<400> 11





<210> 12
<211> 22
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Native periplasmic leader peptide from AppA2c (E. coli)

<400> 12




Claims

1. A phytase selected from

a) a polypeptide comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO. 2,

b) a variant of the polypeptide comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO. 2 which

(i) retains the following amino acid positions E26, W84, V159, Y181, N207, W233, D277 and Y349 of SEQ ID NO:2,
and includes one or more additional mutations at positions 57, 95, 129, 161, 179, 198, 201, 249, 275, 309,

c) a variant of the polypeptide comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO. 2 which

(i) retains the following amino acid positions E26, W84, V159, Y181, N207, W233, D277 and Y349 of SEQ ID NO:2, and

(ii) exhibits a sequence identity of at least 90% with SEQ ID NO. 2,

wherein the phytase exhibits a thermostability of 50% at 75°C, wherein the thermostability is determined by measuring the residual phytase enzymatic activity at a temperature of 37°C after having heated the phytase enzyme for 15 minutes to 75°C followed by a subsequent cooling to 37°C.


 
2. The phytase of claim 1 which exhibits a thermostability of 70% at 75°C, wherein the thermostability is determined by measuring the residual phytase enzymatic activity at a temperature of 37°C after having heated the phytase enzyme for 15 minutes to 75°C followed by a subsequent cooling to 37°C.
 
3. The phytase of any of claims 1-2 which exhibits a thermostability of 50% at 95°C, wherein the thermostability is determined by measuring the residual phytase enzymatic activity at a temperature of 37°C after having heated the phytase enzyme for 15 minutes to 95°C followed by a subsequent cooling to 37°C.
 
4. The phytase of any of claims 1-3 selected from a polypeptide comprising the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO.3, SEQ ID NO. 4, SEQ ID NO. 5, SEQ ID NO.6, SEQ ID NO.7, SEQ ID NO.8, SEQ ID NO.9, SEQ ID NO.10, SEQ ID NO.11 or SEQ ID NO.12.
 
5. The phytase of claim 1b) wherein the one or more additional mutations are selected from 57Y, 95P, 129G, 161R, 179R/S/N, 198P, 201K, 275Y, 249E, 275Y and 309S in SEQ ID NO. 2.
 
6. The phytase of claim 5, wherein one or more additional mutations are at positions 47, 65 and/or 247, preferably 47F, 65P and/or 247Y.
 
7. A phytase of any of claims 1-6 which is expressed in a fungal host cell.
 
8. The phytase of any of claims 1-7 which is expressed in a bacterial host.
 
9. A nucleic acid sequence encoding any of the phytases of any of claims 1-6.
 
10. A vector comprising the nucleic acid of claim 9.
 
11. A host cell comprising the nucleic acid of claim 9 or the vector of claim 10.
 
12. The host cell of claim 11, which is a fungal host cell, preferably a yeast host cell, or a bacterial host cell, preferably E. coli.
 
13. Use of a phytase of any of claims 1-6 for releasing phosphate from phytate.
 
14. The use of a phytase of any of claims 1-6 as a feed ingredient.
 
15. A method of preparing a phytase of any of claims 6-7 by recombinantly expressing the enzyme in a host cell according to claim 11 or 12.
 


Ansprüche

1. Eine Phytase ausgewählt aus

a) einem Polypeptid, das die Aminosäuresequenz von SEQ ID NO: 2 umfasst,

b) eine Variante des Polypeptids, umfassend die Aminosäuresequenz von SEQ ID NO: 2, welche

(i) die folgenden Aminosäurepositionen E26, W84, V159, Y181, N207, W233, D277 und Y349 von SEQ ID NO:2 beibehält,
und eine oder mehrere zusätzliche Mutationen an den Positionen 57, 95, 129, 161, 179, 198, 201, 249, 275, 309 umfasst,

c) eine Variante des Polypeptids, umfassend die Aminosäuresequenz von SEQ ID NO: 2, welche

(i) die folgenden Aminosäurepositionen E26, W84, V159, Y181, N207, W233, D277 und Y349 von SEQ ID NO:2 beibehält und

(ii) eine Sequenzidentität von mindestens 90% mit SEQ ID NO: 2 aufweist,

wobei die Phytase eine Thermostabilität von 50 % bei 75°C zeigt, wobei die Thermostabilität durch Messen der enzymatischen Restaktivität der Phytase bei einer Temperatur von 37°C bestimmt wird, nachdem das Phytase-Enzym 15 Minuten lang auf 75°C erhitzt und anschließend auf 37°C abgekühlt wurde.


 
2. Die Phytase nach Anspruch 1, die eine Thermostabilität von 70% bei 75°C zeigt, wobei die Thermostabilität durch Messen der enzymatischen Restaktivität der Phytase bei einer Temperatur von 37°C bestimmt wird, nachdem das Phytase-Enzym 15 Minuten lang auf 75°C erhitzt und anschließend auf 37°C abgekühlt wurde.
 
3. Die Phytase nach einem der Ansprüche 1-2, die eine Thermostabilität von 50% bei 95°C zeigt, wobei die Thermostabilität durch Messen der enzymatischen Restaktivität der Phytase bei einer Temperatur von 37°C bestimmt wird, nachdem das Phytase-Enzym 15 Minuten lang auf 75°C erhitzt und anschließend auf 37°C abgekühlt wurde.
 
4. Die Phytase nach einem der Ansprüche 1-3, ausgewählt aus einem Polypeptid, umfassend die Aminosäuresequenz von SEQ ID NO:3, SEQ ID NO:4, SEQ ID NO:5, SEQ ID NO:6, SEQ ID NO:7, SEQ ID NO:8, SEQ ID NO:9, SEQ ID NO:10, SEQ ID NO:11 oder SEQ ID NO:12.
 
5. Die Phytase nach Anspruch 1b), wobei eine oder mehrere zusätzliche Mutationen ausgewählt sind aus 57Y, 95P, 129G, 161R, 179R/S/N, 198P, 201K, 275Y, 249E, 275Y und 309S in SEQ ID NO: 2.
 
6. Die Phytase nach Anspruch 5, wobei eine oder mehrere zusätzliche Mutationen an den Positionen 47, 65 und/oder 247, vorzugsweise 47F, 65P und/oder 247Y, vorliegen.
 
7. Die Phytase nach einem der Ansprüche 1-6, die in einer Pilz-Wirtszelle exprimiert wird.
 
8. Die Phytase nach einem der Ansprüche 1-7, die in einem bakteriellen Wirt exprimiert wird.
 
9. Eine Nukleinsäuresequenz, die für eine der Phytasen nach einem der Ansprüche 1-6 kodiert.
 
10. Ein Vektor, der die Nukleinsäure nach Anspruch 9 enthält.
 
11. Eine Wirtszelle, umfassend die Nukleinsäure nach Anspruch 9 oder den Vektor nach Anspruch 10.
 
12. Die Wirtszelle nach Anspruch 11, die eine Pilz-Wirtszelle, vorzugsweise eine Hefe-Wirtszelle, oder eine bakterielle Wirtszelle, vorzugsweise E. coli, ist.
 
13. Verwendung einer Phytase nach einem der Ansprüche 1-6 zur Freisetzung von Phosphat aus Phytat.
 
14. Verwendung einer Phytase nach einem der Ansprüche 1-6 als Futtermittelzutat.
 
15. Verfahren zur Herstellung einer Phytase nach einem der Ansprüche 6-7 durch rekombinante Expression des Enzyms in einer Wirtszelle nach Anspruch 11 oder 12.
 


Revendications

1. Phytase choisie parmi

a) un polypeptide comprenant la séquence d'acides aminés selon la SEQ ID N° 2,

b) un variant du polypeptide comprenant la séquence d'acides aminés selon la SEQ ID N° 2 qui

(i) conserve les positions d'acides aminés suivantes E26, W84, V159, Y181, N207, W233, D277 et Y349 de la SEQ ID N° : 2,
et inclut une ou plusieurs mutations supplémentaires au niveau des positions 57, 95, 129, 161, 179, 198, 201, 249, 275, 309,

c) un variant du polypeptide comprenant la séquence d'acides aminés selon la SEQ ID N° 2 qui

(i) conserve les positions d'acides aminés suivantes E26, W84, V159, Y181, N207, W233, D277 et Y349 de la SEQ ID N° : 2, et

(ii) présente une identité de séquence d'au moins 90 % avec la SEQ ID N° 2,

la phytase présentant une stabilité à la chaleur de 50 % à 75 °C, la stabilité à la chaleur étant déterminée en mesurant l'activité enzymatique phytase résiduelle à une température de 37 °C après avoir chauffé l'enzyme phytase pendant 15 minutes à 75 °C puis l'avoir refroidie à 37 °C.


 
2. Phytase selon la revendication 1 qui présente une stabilité à la chaleur de 70 % à 75 °C, la stabilité à la chaleur étant déterminée en mesurant l'activité enzymatique phytase résiduelle à une température de 37 °C après avoir chauffé l'enzyme phytase pendant 15 minutes à 75 °C puis l'avoir refroidie à 37 °C.
 
3. Phytase selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 2 qui présente une stabilité à la chaleur de 50 % à 95 °C, la stabilité à la chaleur étant déterminée en mesurant l'activité enzymatique phytase résiduelle à une température de 37 °C après avoir chauffé l'enzyme phytase pendant 15 minutes à 95 °C puis l'avoir refroidie à 37 °C.
 
4. Phytase selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3 choisie parmi un polypeptide comprenant la séquence d'acides aminés selon la SEQ ID N° 3, la SEQ ID N° 4, la SEQ ID N° 5, la SEQ ID N° 6, la SEQ ID N° 7, la SEQ ID N° 8, la SEQ ID N° 9, la SEQ ID N° 10, la SEQ ID N° 11 ou la SEQ ID N° 12.
 
5. Phytase selon la revendication 1b), la ou les mutations supplémentaires étant choisies parmi 57Y, 95P, 129G, 161R, 179R/S/N, 198P, 201K, 275Y, 249E, 275Y et 309S dans la SEQ ID N° 2.
 
6. Phytase selon la revendication 5, une ou plusieurs mutations supplémentaires se trouvant au niveau des positions 47, 65 et/ou 247, de préférence 47F, 65P et/ou 247Y.
 
7. Phytase selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6 qui est exprimée dans une cellule hôte fongique.
 
8. Phytase selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7 qui est exprimée dans un hôte bactérien.
 
9. Séquence d'acide nucléique codant pour l'une quelconque des phytases selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6.
 
10. Vecteur comprenant l'acide nucléique selon la revendication 9.
 
11. Cellule hôte comprenant l'acide nucléique selon la revendication 9 ou le vecteur selon la revendication 10.
 
12. Cellule hôte selon la revendication 11, qui est une cellule hôte fongique, de préférence une cellule hôte de levure, ou une cellule hôte bactérienne, de préférence E. coli.
 
13. Utilisation d'une phytase selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6 pour libérer du phosphate à partir d'un phytate.
 
14. Utilisation d'une phytase selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6 en tant qu'ingrédient d'aliment pour animaux.
 
15. Procédé de préparation d'une phytase selon l'une quelconque des revendications 6 à 7 par expression recombinée de l'enzyme dans une cellule hôte selon la revendication 11 ou 12.
 




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