Bacteria form biofilms by adhering to biotic or abiotic surfaces. This phenomenon causes several problems, including a reduction in the transport of mass and heat, an increase in resistance to antibiotics, and a shortening of the lifetimes of modules in bioindustrial fermentors. To overcome these difficulties, we created a biofilm production-deficient Escherichia coli strain, BD123, by deleting genes involved in curli biosynthesis and assembly, Δ(csgG-csgC); colanic acid biosynthesis and assembly, Δ(wcaL-wza); and type I pilus biosynthesis, Δ(fimB-fimH). E. coli BD123 remained mostly in the form of planktonic cells under the conditions tested and became more sensitive to the antibiotics streptomycin and rifampin than the wild-type E. coli MG1655: the growth of BD123 was inhibited by one-fourth of the concentrations needed to inhibit MG1655. In addition, the transformation efficiency of BD123 was about 20 times higher than that of MG1655, and the production and secretion of recombinant proteins were ∼16% and ∼25% greater, respectively, with BD123 than with MG1655. These results indicate that the newly created biofilm production-deficient strain of E. coli displays several key properties that substantially enhance its utility in the biotechnology arena.
Microarray has become increasingly popular biotechnology in biological and medical researches, and has been widely applied in classification of treatment subtypes using expression patterns of biomarkers. We developed a statistical procedure to identify expression biomarkers for treatment subtype classification by constructing an F-statistic based on Henderson method III. Monte Carlo simulations were conducted to examine the robustness and efficiency of the proposed method. Simulation results showed that our method could provide satisfying power of identifying differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with false discovery rate (FDR) lower than the given type I error rate. In addition, we analyzed a leukemia dataset collected from 38 leukemia patients with 27 samples diagnosed as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and 11 samples as acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We compared our results with those from the methods of significance analysis of microarray (SAM) and microarray analysis of variance (MAANOVA). Among these three methods, only expression biomarkers identified by our method can precisely identify the three human acute leukemia subtypes.
Microbial conversion of renewable raw materials to useful products is an important objective in industrial biotechnology. Pichia stipitis, a yeast that naturally ferments xylose, was genetically engineered for l-(+)-lactate production. We constructed a P. stipitis strain that expressed the l-lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) from Lactobacillus helveticus under the control of the P. stipitis fermentative ADH1 promoter. Xylose, glucose, or a mixture of the two sugars was used as the carbon source for lactate production. The constructed P. stipitis strain produced a higher level of lactate and a higher yield on xylose than on glucose. Lactate accumulated as the main product in xylose-containing medium, with 58 g/liter lactate produced from 100 g/liter xylose. Relatively efficient lactate production also occurred on glucose medium, with 41 g/liter lactate produced from 94 g/liter glucose. In the presence of both sugars, xylose and glucose were consumed simultaneously and converted predominantly to lactate. Lactate was produced at the expense of ethanol, whose production decreased to ∼15 to 30% of the wild-type level on xylose-containing medium and to 70 to 80% of the wild-type level on glucose-containing medium. Thus, LDH competed efficiently with the ethanol pathway for pyruvate...
Despite the economic and sanitary problems caused by harmful biofilms, biofilms are nonetheless used empirically in industrial environmental and bioremediation processes and may be of potential use in medical settings for interfering with pathogen development. Escherichia coli is one of the bacteria with which biofilm formation has been studied in great detail, and it is especially appreciated for biotechnology applications because of its genetic amenability. Here we describe the development of two new genetic tools enabling the constitutive and inducible expression of any gene or operon of interest at its native locus. In addition to providing valuable tools for complementation and overexpression experiments, these two compact genetic cassettes were used to modulate the biofilm formation capacities of E. coli by taking control of two biofilm-promoting factors, autotransported antigen 43 adhesin and the bscABZC cellulose operon. The modulation of the biofilm formation capacities of E. coli or those of other bacteria capable of being genetically manipulated may be of use both for reducing and for improving the impact of biofilms in a number of industrial and medical applications.
While biotechnology-derived allergen therapeutics show promise in improving the safety of immunotherapy, they may prove to have additional benefits in comparison to conventional allergenic extracts that deserve commentary. These issues range from product stability and compatibility to medical practice issues, which will be the focus of this article.
A need exists for an unbiased measure of the accuracy of feed-forward neural networks used for classification. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis is suited for this measure, and was used to assess the performance of several different network weights. The area under an ROC and its standard error were used to compare different network weight sets, and to follow the performance of a network during the course of training. The ROC is not sensitive to the prior probabilities of examples in the testing set nor to decision bias. The area under an ROC curve is a readily understood measure, and should be used to evaluate neural networks and to report results of learning experiments. Examples are provided from experiments with data from the biotechnology domain.
Cyanophycin [multi-l-arginyl-poly(l-aspartic acid) (CGP)] was, for the first time, produced in yeast. As yeasts are very important production organisms in biotechnology, it was determined if CGP can be produced in two different strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The episomal vector systems pESC (with the galactose-inducible promoter GAL1) and pYEX-BX (with the copper ion-inducible promoter CUP1) were chosen to express the cyanophycin synthetase gene from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6308 (cphA6308) in yeast. Expression experiments with transgenic yeasts revealed that the use of the CUP1 promoter is much more efficient for CGP production than the GAL1 promoter. As observed by electrophoresis of isolated CGP in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels, the yeast strains produced two different types of polymer: the water-soluble and the water-insoluble CGP were observed as major and minor forms of the polymer, respectively. A maximum CGP content of 6.9% (wt/wt) was detected in the cells. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis showed that the isolated polymers consisted mainly of the two amino acids aspartic acid and arginine and that, in addition, a minor amount (2 mol%) of lysine was present. Growth of transgenic yeasts in the presence of 15 mM lysine resulted in an incorporation of up to 10 mol% of lysine into CGP. Anti-CGP antibodies generated against CGP isolated from Escherichia coli TOP10 harboring cphA6308 reacted with insoluble CGP but not with soluble CGP...
A cornerstone of biotechnology is the use of microorganisms for the efficient
production of chemicals and the elimination of harmful waste.
Pseudomonas putida is an archetype of such microbes due to
its metabolic versatility, stress resistance, amenability to genetic
modifications, and vast potential for environmental and industrial applications.
To address both the elucidation of the metabolic wiring in P.
putida and its uses in biocatalysis, in particular for the production
of non-growth-related biochemicals, we developed and present here a genome-scale
constraint-based model of the metabolism of P. putida KT2440.
Network reconstruction and flux balance analysis (FBA) enabled definition of the
structure of the metabolic network, identification of knowledge gaps, and
pin-pointing of essential metabolic functions, facilitating thereby the
refinement of gene annotations. FBA and flux variability analysis were used to
analyze the properties, potential, and limits of the model. These analyses
The natural replacement of damaged cells by stem cells occurs actively and often in adult tissues, especially rapidly dividing cells such as blood cells. An exciting case in Boston, however, posits a kind of natural stem cell therapy provided to a mother by her fetus—long after the fetus is born. Because there is a profound lack of medical intervention, this therapy seems natural enough and is unlikely to be morally suspect. Nevertheless, we feel morally uncertain when we consider giving this type of therapy to patients who would not naturally receive it. Much has been written about the ethics of stem cell research and therapy; this paper will focus on how recent advances in biotechnology and biological understandings of development narrow the debate. Here, the author briefly reviews current stem cell research practices, revisits the natural stem cell therapy case for moral evaluation, and ultimately demonstrates the importance of permissible stem cell research and therapy, even absent an agreement about the definition of when embryonic life begins.
Polaromonas sp. strain JS666 can grow on cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cDCE) as a sole carbon and energy source and may be useful for bioremediation of chlorinated solvent-contaminated sites. Analysis of the genome sequence of JS666 (5.9 Mb) shows a bacterium well adapted to pollution that carries many genes likely to be involved in hydrocarbon and xenobiotic catabolism and metal resistance. Clusters of genes coding for haloalkane, haloalkanoate, n-alkane, alicyclic acid, cyclic alcohol, and aromatic catabolism were analyzed in detail, and growth on acetate, catechol, chloroacetate, cyclohexane carboxylate, cyclohexanol, ferulate, heptane, 3-hydroxybenzoate, hydroxyquinol, gentisate, octane, protocatechuate, and salicylate was confirmed experimentally. Strain JS666 also harbors diverse putative mobile genetic elements, including retrons, inteins, a miniature inverted-repeat transposable element, insertion sequence transposases from 14 families, eight genomic islands, a Mu family bacteriophage, and two large (338- and 360-kb) plasmids. Both plasmids are likely to be self-transferable and carry genes for alkane, alcohol, aromatic, and haloacid metabolism. Overall, the JS666 genome sequence provides insights into the evolution of pollutant-degrading bacteria and provides a toolbox of catabolic genes with utility for biotechnology.
The central issue of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment was property: property in the body and intellectual property. Once removed from the body, tissue and body fluids were not legally the property of the Tuskegee subjects. Consequently, there was not a direct relationship between a patient and research that used his sera. The Public Health Service (PHS) was free to exercise its property right in Tuskegee sera to develop serologic tests for syphilis with commercial potential. To camouflage the true meaning, the PHS made a distinction between direct clinical studies and indirect studies of tissue and body fluids. This deception caused all reviews to date to limit their examination to documents labeled by the PHS as directly related to the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. This excluded other information in the public domain. Despite the absence of a clinical protocol, this subterfuge led each to falsely conclude that the Tuskagee Syphilis Experiment was a clinical study. Based on publications of indirect research using sera and cerebrospinal fluid, this article conceives a very history of the Tuskagee Syphilis Experiment. Syphilis could only cultivate in living beings. As in slavery, the generative ability of the body made the Tuskegee subjects real property and gave untreated syphilis and the sera of the Tuskegee subjects immense commercial value. Published protocols exploited the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment to invent and commercialize biotechnology for the applied science of syphilis serology.
Sub-Saharan Africa could have a shortfall of nearly 90 Mt of cereals by the year 2025 if current agricultural practices are maintained. Biotechnology is one of the ways to improve agricultural production. Insect-resistant varieties of maize and cotton suitable for the subcontinent have been identified as already having a significant impact. Virus-resistant crops are under development. These include maize resistant to the African endemic maize streak virus and cassava resistant to African cassava mosaic virus. Parasitic weeds such as Striga attack the roots of crops such as maize, millet, sorghum and upland rice. Field trials in Kenya using a variety of maize resistant to a herbicide have proven very successful. Drought-tolerant crops are also under development as are improved varieties of local African crops such as bananas, cassava, sorghum and sweet potatoes.
Martínez-Gómez, Ana Isabel; Martínez-Rodríguez, Sergio; Pozo-Dengra, Joaquín; Tessaro, Davide; Servi, Stefano; Clemente-Jiménez, Josefa María; Rodríguez-Vico, Felipe; Las Heras-Vázquez, Francisco Javier
Fonte: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)Publicador: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
An N-carbamoyl-β-alanine amidohydrolase of industrial interest from Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 (βcarAt) has been characterized. βcarAt is most active at 30°C and pH 8.0 with N-carbamoyl-β-alanine as a substrate. The purified enzyme is completely inactivated by the metal-chelating agent 8-hydroxyquinoline-5-sulfonic acid (HQSA), and activity is restored by the addition of divalent metal ions, such as Mn2+, Ni2+, and Co2+. The native enzyme is a homodimer with a molecular mass of 90 kDa from pH 5.5 to 9.0. The enzyme has a broad substrate spectrum and hydrolyzes nonsubstituted N-carbamoyl-α-, -β-, -γ-, and -δ-amino acids, with the greatest catalytic efficiency for N-carbamoyl-β-alanine. βcarAt also recognizes substrate analogues substituted with sulfonic and phosphonic acid groups to produce the β-amino acids taurine and ciliatine, respectively. βcarAt is able to produce monosubstituted β2- and β3-amino acids, showing better catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km) for the production of the former. For both types of monosubstituted substrates, the enzyme hydrolyzes N-carbamoyl-β-amino acids with a short aliphatic side chain better than those with aromatic rings. These properties make βcarAt an outstanding candidate for application in the biotechnology industry.
In addition to maintaining the GenBank® nucleic acid sequence database, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) provides analysis and retrieval resources for the data in GenBank and other biological data made available through the NCBI web site. NCBI resources include Entrez, the Entrez Programming Utilities, MyNCBI, PubMed, PubMed Central, Entrez Gene, the NCBI Taxonomy Browser, BLAST, BLAST Link (BLink), Electronic PCR, OrfFinder, Spidey, Splign, RefSeq, UniGene, HomoloGene, ProtEST, dbMHC, dbSNP, Cancer Chromosomes, Entrez Genomes and related tools, the Map Viewer, Model Maker, Evidence Viewer, Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs), Retroviral Genotyping Tools, HIV-1/Human Protein Interaction Database, Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), Entrez Probe, GENSAT, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM), Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA), the Molecular Modeling Database (MMDB), the Conserved Domain Database (CDD), the Conserved Domain Architecture Retrieval Tool (CDART) and the PubChem suite of small molecule databases. Augmenting many of the web applications is custom implementation of the BLAST program optimized to search specialized data sets. All of the resources can be accessed through the NCBI home page at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
Thermoanaerobacter sp. strain X514 has great potential in biotechnology due to its capacity to ferment a range of C5 and C6 sugars to ethanol and other metabolites under thermophilic conditions. This study investigated the central metabolism of strain X514 via 13C-labeled tracer experiments using either glucose or pyruvate as both carbon and energy sources. X514 grew on minimal medium and thus contains complete biosynthesis pathways for all macromolecule building blocks. Based on genome annotation and isotopic analysis of amino acids, three observations can be obtained about the central metabolic pathways in X514. First, the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway in X514 is not functional, and the tricarboxylic acid cycle is incomplete under fermentative growth conditions. Second, X514 contains (Re)-type citrate synthase activity, although no gene homologous to the recently characterized (Re)-type citrate synthase of Clostridium kluyveri was found. Third, the isoleucine in X514 is derived from acetyl coenzyme A and pyruvate via the citramalate pathway rather than being synthesized from threonine via threonine ammonia-lyase. The functionality of the citramalate synthase gene (cimA [Teth514_1204]) has been confirmed by enzymatic activity assays...
Fluorescence detection is a central technology in biological research and biotechnology. A vast array of fluorescent probes are available with diverse spectral properties. These properties were ‘engineered’ into fluorophores by modification of the chemical structures. Essentially, all present uses of fluorescence rely on the radiation of energy into optically transparent media, the free space which surrounds the fluorophores. In this paper, we summarize an opportunity for novel fluorescence technology based on modification of the photonic mode density around the fluorophore and thus control of its spectral properties. This modification can be accomplished by proximity of fluorophores to metallic particles of gold, silver and possibly others. By engineering the size and shape of the metal particles, and the location of the fluorophores relative to the surfaces, fluorophores can be quenched, display increases in quantum yield, and changes in lifetime. Fluorophore–metal surface combinations can even display directional rather than isotropic emission. We describe recent experimental results and suggest potential biomedical applications of fluorophore–metal particle interactions.
Due to their electrical, chemical, mechanical and thermal properties, carbon nanotubes are one of the most promising materials for the electronics, computer and aerospace industries. Here, we discuss their properties in the context of future applications in biotechnology and biomedicine. The purification and chemical modification of carbon nanotubes with organic, polymeric and biological molecules are discussed. Additionally we review their uses in biosensors, assembly of structures and devices, scanning probe microscopy and as substrates for neuronal growth. We note that additional toxicity studies of carbon nanotubes are necessary so that exposure guidelines and safety regulations can be established in a timely manner.
In anaerobic cultures of wild-type Saccharomyces cerevisiae, glycerol production is essential to reoxidize NADH produced in biosynthetic processes. Consequently, glycerol is a major by-product during anaerobic production of ethanol by S. cerevisiae, the single largest fermentation process in industrial biotechnology. The present study investigates the possibility of completely eliminating glycerol production by engineering S. cerevisiae such that it can reoxidize NADH by the reduction of acetic acid to ethanol via NADH-dependent reactions. Acetic acid is available at significant amounts in lignocellulosic hydrolysates of agricultural residues. Consistent with earlier studies, deletion of the two genes encoding NAD-dependent glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPD1 and GPD2) led to elimination of glycerol production and an inability to grow anaerobically. However, when the E. coli mhpF gene, encoding the acetylating NAD-dependent acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (EC 22.214.171.124; acetaldehyde + NAD+ + coenzyme A ↔ acetyl coenzyme A + NADH + H+), was expressed in the gpd1Δ gpd2Δ strain, anaerobic growth was restored by supplementation with 2.0 g liter−1 acetic acid. The stoichiometry of acetate consumption and growth was consistent with the complete replacement of glycerol formation by acetate reduction to ethanol as the mechanism for NADH reoxidation. This study provides a proof of principle for the potential of this metabolic engineering strategy to improve ethanol yields...