Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.2, 509-523, 2021
Engineering ribose-5-phosphate isomerase B from a central carbon metabolic enzyme to a promising sugar biocatalyst
Ribose-5-phosphate isomerase B (RpiB) was first identified in the pentose phosphate pathway responsible for the inter-conversion of ribose-5-phosphate and ribulose-5-phosphate. Though there are seldom key enzymes in central carbon metabolic system developed as useful biocatalysts, RpiB with the advantages of wide substrate scope and high stereoselectivity has become a potential biotechnological tool to fulfill the demand of rare sugars currently. In this review, the pivotal roles of RpiB in carbon metabolism are summarized, and their sequence identity and structural similarity are discussed. Substrate binding and catalytic mechanisms are illustrated to provide solid foundations for enzyme engineering. Interesting differences in origin, physiological function, structure, and catalytic mechanism between RpiB and ribose-5-phosphate isomerase A are introduced. Moreover, enzyme engineering efforts for rare sugar production are stressed, and prospects of future development are concluded briefly in the viewpoint of biocatalysis. Aided by the progresses of structural and computational biology, the application of RpiB will be promoted greatly in the preparation of valuable molecules.