Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 35(3), 329 (2019).

Successful Mesoporous Silica Encapsulation of Optimally Functional EcDOS (E. coli Direct Oxygen Sensor), a Heme-based O2-Sensing Phosphodiesterase
Tetsuji ITOH, Shun-ichi MATSUURA, Tracy T. CHUONG, Osamu TANAIKE, Satoshi HAMAKAWA, and Toru SHIMIZU
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Sendai 983-8551, Japan
The heme-based O2 sensor from Escherichia coli, EcDOS, exerts phosphodiesterase activity towards cyclic-di-GMP (c-di-GMP), an important second messenger that regulates biofilm formation, virulence, and other important functions necessary for bacterial survival. EcDOS is a two-domain protein composed of an N-terminal heme-bound O2-sensing domain and a C-terminal functional domain. O2 binding to the heme Fe(II) complex in the O2-sensing domain substantially enhances the catalytic activity of the functional domain, a property with potentially promising medical applications. Mesoporous silica is a useful material with finite-state machine-like features suitable for mediating numerous enzymatic functions. Here, we successfully encapsulated EcDOS into mesoporous silica, and demonstrated that encapsulated EcDOS was substantially activated by CO, an alternative signaling molecule used in place of O2, exhibiting the same activity as the native enzyme in aqueous solution. Encapsulated EcDOS was sufficiently stable to exert its enzymatic function over several experimental cycles under aerobic conditions at room temperature. Thus, the present study demonstrates the successful encapsulation of the heme-based O2 sensor EcDOS into mesoporous silica and shows that the native gas-stimulated function of EcDOS is well conserved. As such, this represents the first application of mesoporous silica to an oxygen-sensing—or any gas-sensing—enzyme.