Screening the Thermotoga maritima genome for new wide-spectrum nucleoside and nucleotide kinases

31 January 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Enzymes from thermophilic organisms are interesting biocatalysts for a wide variety of applications in organic synthesis, biotechnology and molecular biology. Next to an increased stability at elevated temperatures, they were described to show a wider substrate spectrum than their mesophilic counterparts. To identify thermostable biocatalysts for the synthesis of nucleotide analogs, a database search on the carbohydrate and nucleotide metabolism of T. maritima was performed. After expression and purification of 13 enzyme candidates involved in nucleotide synthesis, these enzymes were screened for their substrate scope. The synthesis of 2'-deoxynucleoside 5'-monophosphates (dNMPs) and uridine 5'-monophosphate from nucleosides was catalyzed by the already known wide-spectrum thymidine kinase and the ribokinase. In contrast, no NMP-forming activity was detected for adenosine-specific kinase, uridine kinase or nucleotidase. The NMP kinases (NMPKs) and the pyruvate-phosphate-dikinase of T. maritima exhibited a rather specific substrate spectrum for the phosphorylation of NMPs, while pyruvate kinase, acetate kinase and three of the NMPKs showed a broad substrate scope with (2'-deoxy)nucleoside 5'-diphosphates as substrates. Based on these promising results, TmNMPKs were applied in enzymatic cascade reactions for nucleoside 5'-triphosphate synthesis using four modified pyrimidine nucleosides and four purine NMPs as substrates and it was shown that base- and sugar-modified substrates were accepted. In summary, besides the already reported TmTK, NMPKs of T. maritima were identified to be interesting enzyme candidates for the enzymatic production of modified nucleotides.


Thermotoga maritima
nucleotide analogs
nucleoside kinase
nucleotide kinase
pyruvate kinase
acetate kinase
substrate spectrum

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
SI Preprint Winkler et al 2023 Tma enzymes


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