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A Growth-Based, High-Throughput Selection Platform Enables Remodeling of 4‑Hydroxybenzoate Hydroxylase Active Site


We report an aerobic, growth-based selection platform founded on NADP(H) redox balance restoration in Escherichia coli, and we demonstrate its application in the high-throughput evolution of an oxygenase. A single round of selection followed by a facile growth assay enabled Pseudomonas aeruginosa 4-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase (PobA) to efficiently hydroxylate both 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (4-HBA) and 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (3,4-DHBA), two consecutive steps in gallic acid biosynthesis. Structural modeling suggests precise reorganization of active site hydrogen bond network, which is difficult to obtain without deep navigation of combinatorial sequence space. We envision universal application of this selection platform in engineering NADPH-dependent oxidoreductases.

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