The linB gene product (LinB), which is involved in the degradation of γ-hexachlorocyclohexane in Sphingomonas paucimobilis UT26, is a member of haloalkane dehalogenases with a broad range of substrate specificity. Elucidation of the factors determining its substrate specificity is of interest. Aiming to facilitate purification of recombinant LinB protein for site-directed mutagenesis analysis, a 6-histidyl tail was added to the C-terminus of LinB. The His-tagged LinB was specifically bound with Ni-NTA resin in the buffer containing 10 mM imidazole. After elution with 500 mM imidazole, quantitative recovery of protein occurred. The steady-state kinetic parameters of the His-tagged LinB for four substrates were in good agreement with that of wild-type recombinant LinB. Although the His-tagged LinB expressed in an average of 80% of the activity of the wild type LinB for 10 different substrates, the decrease was very similar for different substrates with the standard deviation of 5.5%. The small activity reduction is independent of the substrate shape, size, or number of substituents, indicating that the His-tagged LinB can be used for further mutagenesis studies. To confirm the suitability of this system for mutagenesis studies, two mutant proteins with substitution in putative halide binding residues (W109 and F151) were constructed, purified, and tested for activity. As expected, complete loss in activity of W109L and sustained activity of F151W were observed.
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