p-Coumaric acid (pCA) can be produced via bioprocessing and is a promising chemical precursor to making organic thin film transistors. However, the required tyrosine ammonia lyase (TAL) enzyme generally has a low specific activity and suffers from competitive product inhibition. Here we characterized the purified TAL variants from Flavobacterium johnsoniae and Herpetosiphon aurantiacus in terms of their susceptibility to product inhibition and their activity and stability across pH and temperature via initial rate experiments. FjTAL was found to be more active than previously described and to have a relatively weak affinity for pCA, but modeling revealed that product inhibition would still be problematic at industrially relevant product concentrations, due to the low solubility of the substrate tyrosine. The activity of both variants increased with temperature when tested up to 45°C, but HaTAL1 was more stable at elevated temperature. FjTAL is a promising biocatalyst for pCA production, but enzyme or bioprocess engineering are required to stabilize FjTAL and reduce product inhibition.
- Bioprocess engineering
- Protein stability