Galactooligosaccharides (GOS) are novel prebiotic food ingredients that can be produced from lactose using β-galactosidase, but the process is more efficient at higher temperatures. To efficiently express the lacS gene from the hyperthermophile Sulfolobus solfataricus, in Lactococcus lactis a synthetic gene (lacSt) with optimized codon usage for Lc. lactis was designed and synthesized. This hyperthermostable β-galactosidase enzyme was successfully overexpressed in Lc. lactis LM0230 using a nisin-controlled gene expression system. Enzyme-containing cells were then killed and permeabilized using 50% ethanol and were used to determine both hydrolysis and transgalactosylation activity. The optimum conditions for GOS synthesis was found to be at pH 6.0 and 85°C. A maximum production of 197. g/L of GOS tri- and tetrasaccharides was obtained from 40% initial lactose, after 55. h of incubation. The total GOS yield increased with the initial lactose concentration, whereas the highest lactose conversion rate (72%) was achieved from a low lactose solution (5%). Given that a significant proportion of the remaining lactose would be expected to be converted into disaccharide GOS, this should enable the future development of a cost-effective approach for the conversion of whey-based substrates into GOS-enriched food ingredients using this cell-based technology.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Midwest Dairy Association (St. Paul, MN) is acknowledged for funding for this work. Special thanks to Stephan Harvey and Tom Krick (Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul) for help with the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.