Mar 25, 2020

Click-chemistry enabled directed evolution of glycosynthases for bespoke glycans synthesis

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
A. AgrawalShishir P. S. Chundawat


Engineering of carbohydrate-active enzymes like glycosynthases for chemoenzymatic synthesis of bespoke oligosaccharides has been limited by the lack of suitable directed evolution based protein engineering methods. Currently there are no ultrahigh-throughput screening methods available for rapid and highly sensitive single cell-based screening of evolved glycosynthase enzymes employing azido sugars as substrates. Here, we report a fluorescence-based approach employing click-chemistry for the selective detection of glycosyl azides (versus free inorganic azides) that facilitated ultrahigh-throughput in-vivo single cell-based assay of glycosynthase activity. This discovery has led to the development of a directed evolution methodology for screening and sorting glycosynthase mutants for synthesis of desired fucosylated oligosaccharides. Our screening technique facilitated rapid fluorescence activated cell sorting of a large library of glycosynthase variants (>106 mutants) expressed in E. coli to identify several novel mutants with increased activity for {beta}-fucosyl-azide activated donor sugars towards desired acceptor sugars, demonstrating the broader applicability of this methodology.

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