Paper accepted: “High-throughput screening using UHPLC-MS to characterize the subsite specificities of chitosanases or chitinases“

Today, Eva Regel’s and her co-authors paper on the development of high-throughput assays to screen large numbers of chitinases or chitosanases for their activity and substrate specificity was accepted for publication in the highly renowned journal Analytical Chemistry. Towards the end of the Nano3Bio project, Dr. Michael Liss from the company Thermo Fisher Scientific GENEART GmbH synthesized for us a directed evolution, site-saturation mutagenesis library of “our” Bacillus sp. MN chitosanase which Eva had designed. In the framework of the FunChi project, and supported by her Master student Maximilian Evers and our post-doctoral researcher Dr. Stefan Cord-Landwehr, Eva then developed two screening assays to find muteins with either changed activity (mostly to exclude muteins with too low activities) or changed specificity. The latter would have been possible using Stefan’s sequencing protocol for chitosan oligomers, but Eva came up with a really clever idea which converted this time-consuming and expensive method into a fast screening procedure. She focused on just two prominent oligomeric products and compared their production by the different muteins using principal component analysis. This only allowed the high-throughput screening of the whole library which yielded several interesting mutants which Eva and Max are currently analysing in detail. So their next paper is already on the horizon.