Improved Bst DNA Polymerase Variants Derived via a Machine Learning Approach

Inyup Paik, Phuoc H.T. Ngo, Raghav Shroff, Daniel J. Diaz, Andre C. Maranhao, David J.F. Walker, Sanchita Bhadra, Andrew D. Ellington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The DNA polymerase I from Geobacillus stearothermophilus (also known as Bst DNAP) is widely used in isothermal amplification reactions, where its strand displacement ability is prized. More robust versions of this enzyme should be enabled for diagnostic applications, especially for carrying out higher temperature reactions that might proceed more quickly. To this end, we appended a short fusion domain from the actin-binding protein villin that improved both stability and purification of the enzyme. In parallel, we have developed a machine learning algorithm that assesses the relative fit of individual amino acids to their chemical microenvironments at any position in a protein and applied this algorithm to predict sequence substitutions in Bst DNAP. The top predicted variants had greatly improved thermotolerance (heating prior to assay), and upon combination, the mutations showed additive thermostability, with denaturation temperatures up to 2.5 °C higher than the parental enzyme. The increased thermostability of the enzyme allowed faster loop-mediated isothermal amplification assays to be carried out at 73 °C, where both Bst DNAP and its improved commercial counterpart Bst 2.0 are inactivated. Overall, this is one of the first examples of the application of machine learning approaches to the thermostabilization of an enzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-418
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 17 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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