Establishment of a functional system for recombinant production of secreted proteins at 50 °C in the thermophilic Bacillus methanolicus
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMicrobial Cell Factories. 2020, 19 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12934-020-01409-x
Background The suitability of bacteria as microbial cell factories is dependent on several factors such as price of feedstock, product range, production yield and ease of downstream processing. The facultative methylotroph Bacillus methanolicus is gaining interest as a thermophilic cell factory for production of value-added products from methanol. The aim of this study was to expand the capabilities of B. methanolicus as a microbial cell factory by establishing a system for secretion of recombinant proteins. Results Native and heterologous signal peptides were tested for secretion of α-amylases and proteases, and we have established the use of the thermostable superfolder green fluorescent protein (sfGFP) as a valuable reporter protein in B. methanolicus. We demonstrated functional production and secretion of recombinant proteases, α-amylases and sfGFP in B. methanolicus MGA3 at 50 °C and showed that the choice of signal peptide for optimal secretion efficiency varies between proteins. In addition, we showed that heterologous production and secretion of α-amylase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus enables B. methanolicus to grow in minimal medium with starch as the sole carbon source. An in silico signal peptide library consisting of 169 predicted peptides from B. methanolicus was generated and will be useful for future studies, but was not experimentally investigated any further here. Conclusion A functional system for recombinant production of secreted proteins at 50 °C has been established in the thermophilic B. methanolicus. In addition, an in silico signal peptide library has been generated, that together with the tools and knowledge presented in this work will be useful for further development of B. methanolicus as a host for recombinant protein production and secretion at 50 °C.