Cloning and heterologous expression of Fusarium oxysporum nitrilase gene in Escherichia coli and evaluation in cyanide degradation

Azamsadat Moosavizadeh, Mostafa Motallebi, Zahra Moghaddassi Jahromi, Lukhanyo Mekuto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cyanide is widely utilized in the extraction of precious metal extraction even though it has been deemed as the most toxic compound. Fusarium oxysporum has been shown to degrade cyanide through the activity of the Nitrilase enzyme. In this study, the coding sequence of nitrilase gene from F. oxysporum genomic DNA was optimized for cloning and expression in E. coli. The pUC57 containing synthetic optimized nitrilase gene was transferred into E. coli DH5α strain. This nitrilase gene was sub-cloned into pET26b (+) expression vector containing an in-built His-tag at the C-terminal end to facilitate its purification. The recombinant plasmid, pETAM1, was confirmed by PCR, digestion pattern, and sequencing. The recombinant protein was overproduced in E. coli BL21 (DE3). The results of the SDS-PAGE pattern and Western blot analysis confirmed the expression of the expected recombinant protein. For expression optimization of Nitrilase protein, M16 orthogonal experimental design of the Taguchi method was used. The effect of induction time, temperature and IPTG concentration were examined using four levels for each factors. Estimation of the amount of the expressed protein was calculated via densitometry on SDS-PAGE. The enzyme activity and expression in E. coli proved to be successful since there was ammonia production when potassium cyanide and acrylonitrile were used as substrates while the highest enzyme activity of 88% was expressed at 30 °C. The Km and Vm values of the expressed Nitrilase enzyme were determined to be 0.68 mM and 0.48 mM/min respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110389
JournalEnzyme and Microbial Technology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Cyanide
  • Degradation
  • Escherichia coli
  • Fusarium oxysporum
  • Nitrilase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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