Substrate specificity of a mannose-6-phosphate isomerase from Bacillus subtilis and its application in the production of L-ribose

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Soo-Jin YeomDeok-Kun Oh


The uncharacterized gene previously proposed as a mannose-6-phosphate isomerase from Bacillus subtilis was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The maximal activity of the recombinant enzyme was observed at pH 7.5 and 40 degrees C in the presence of 0.5 mM Co(2+). The isomerization activity was specific for aldose substrates possessing hydroxyl groups oriented in the same direction at the C-2 and C-3 positions, such as the d and l forms of ribose, lyxose, talose, mannose, and allose. The enzyme exhibited the highest activity for l-ribulose among all pentoses and hexoses. Thus, L-ribose, as a potential starting material for many L-nucleoside-based pharmaceutical compounds, was produced at 213 g/liter from 300-g/liter L-ribulose by mannose-6-phosphate isomerase at 40 degrees C for 3 h, with a conversion yield of 71% and a volumetric productivity of 71 g liter(-1) h(-1).


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