ZIWR Weekly Seminar
Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 at 13:15
Seminar room, Old Administration Building
MICROBIAL OMICS - FEEDSTOCKS FOR BIOENGINEERING NOVEL ENZYMES
The wide range of applications and the increasing demand for recombinant proteins, both biopharmaceutical and industrial enzymes, are leading to significant growth of this market. Since the publication of the full human genome in 2003, genetic research has reached a new stage in which identifying macromolecules is no longer a limitation. The new frontier is to understand and determine the role of each gene within the context of the whole, which is much more challenging. Researchers are now focused on understanding gene production and influence on biological functions using metadata technologies. These technologies (“omics technologies") are more efficient than classical biological processes, producing large-scale data through bioinformatics, computer modeling and machine learning. Instead of individually analyzing specific functions and/or biochemical reactions, omics technologies allow for analysis of the completeness of biological systems and advances in the understanding of molecular function. In turn, this enables identification of molecular targets for the rational design of drugs, bioremediation of environmental contaminants, crop genetic improvements, and studying biodiversity.
One of these technologies is the metagenomic technique, which allows accessing the microorganisms through independent cultivation, assisting in the identification of new genes and biocatalysts of interest. Through this technique, it is possible to identify uncultured microorganisms and study new genes using environmental samples. In my work, I used the Brazilian Cerrado soil as a sample for such a study. The Cerrado soil is a habitat with high diversity of microorganisms and thus can be a source for the prospection of industrial enzymes. From a library of 6720 clones, three lipolytic enzymes were isolated. The characterization process included: cloning and sequencing of the genes and coding sequences (CDSs), heterologous expression in E. coli and in Komagataella pastoris, purification and functional characterization of recombinant enzymes, enzymatic essays and biophysical characterization modelling, structural studies, and production in fermenters. The information that can be accessed with a metagenomic approach can be used in biological and technological research as well as for integration into process bioengineering for real applications.