Isolation, characterisation and application of novel microbial protein cross-linking enzymes

  • R.L. Parsons

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Microbial transglutaminase is favoured for use in industry over the mammalian isoform, and hence has been utilized, to great effect, as an applied biocatalyst in many industrial areas including the food and textiles industries. There are currently only a limited number of microbial TGase sources known.
A number of organisms have been screened for transglutaminase activity using biochemical assays directed towards TGase catalyzed reactions (amine incorporation and peptide cross-linking assay). Of those organisms screened, TGase was identified in a number of isolates including members of the Bacillus and Streptomyces families. In addition, a protein capable of performing a TGase-like reaction was identified in the organism Pseudomonas putida that was deemed immunologically distinct from previously described TGase isoforms, though further work would be required to purify the protein responsible.
The genuses Streptoverticillium and Streptomyces are known to be closely related. A number of micro-organisms relating to Streptomyces mobaraensis (formerly Streptoverticillium mobaraensis) have been identified as harboring a TGase enzyme. The exact biological role of Streptomyces TGase is not well understood, though from work undertaken here it would appear to be involved in cell wall growth.
Comparison of the purified Streptomyces TGase proteins showed them to exhibit marginally different characteristics in relation to enzymatic activity and pH dependency upon comparison with Streptomyces mobaraensis TGase. In addition, TGase was identified in the organism Saccharomonospora viridis that was found to be genetically identical to that from S. mobaraensis raising questions about the enzymes dissemination in nature. TGase from S. baldaccii was found to be most diverse with respect to enzymatic characteristics whilst still retaining comparable E(y-glutamyl) lysine bond formation to S. mobaraensis TGase. As such S. baldaccii TGase was cloned into an expression vector enabling mass production of the enzyme thereby providing a viable alternative to
S. mobaraensis TGase for many industrial processes.
Date of AwardDec 2006
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMartin Griffin (Supervisor)


  • bacterial
  • transglutaminase
  • streptomyces

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