Matching Items (60)

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Identification of aromatic-inducible promoters and heterologous biosensors as tuning elements for styrene production in E. coli

Description

One of the primary bottlenecks to chemical production in biological organisms is the toxicity of the chemical. Overexpression of efflux pumps has been shown to increase tolerance to aromatic compounds such as styrene and styrene oxide. Tight control of pum

One of the primary bottlenecks to chemical production in biological organisms is the toxicity of the chemical. Overexpression of efflux pumps has been shown to increase tolerance to aromatic compounds such as styrene and styrene oxide. Tight control of pump expression is necessary to maximize titers and prevent excessive strain on the cells. This study aimed to identify aromatic-sensitive native promoters and heterologous biosensors for construction of closed-loop control of efflux pump expression in E. coli. Using a promoter library constructed by Zaslaver et al., activation was measured through GFP output. Promoters were evaluated for their sensitivity to the addition of one of four aromatic compounds, their "leaking" of signal, and their induction threshold. Out of 43 targeted promoters, 4 promoters (cmr, mdtG, yahN, yajR) for styrene oxide, 2 promoters (mdtG, yahN) for styrene, 0 promoters for 2-phenylethanol, and 1 promoter for phenol (pheP) were identified as ideal control elements in aromatic bioproduction. In addition, a series of three biosensors (NahR, XylS, DmpR) known to be inducible by other aromatics were screened against styrene oxide, 2-phenylethanol, and phenol. The targeted application of these biosensors is aromatic-induced activation of linked efflux pumps. All three biosensors responded strongly in the presence of styrene oxide and 2-phenylethanol, with minor activation in the presence of phenol. Bioproduction of aromatics continues to gain traction in the biotechnology industry, and the continued discovery of aromatic-inducible elements will be essential to effective pathway control.

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2018-05

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Assessment of Metabolic Engineering in Bioprocess Engineering and Industrial Applications

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The field of bioprocess engineering has become an increasingly popular route to produce chemicals and fuels in a sustainable fashion. Bioprocessing is an interdisciplinary field that joins chemical engineering, metabolic engineering, and synthetic biology to tackle problems that will arise

The field of bioprocess engineering has become an increasingly popular route to produce chemicals and fuels in a sustainable fashion. Bioprocessing is an interdisciplinary field that joins chemical engineering, metabolic engineering, and synthetic biology to tackle problems that will arise from the ongoing use of products derived from non-renewable resources. This study will overlook two effective tools that are widely used in the bioprocessing field. The first tool that was studied was strain optimization for biochemical production. This involves genetic manipulation of microbial hosts to create strains that are more efficient at producing the desired products. The second tool that was studied was adaptive laboratory evolution which is used to enhance overall cellular fitness. Enhancing the overall fitness and efficiency of these microbial production factories, allows for innovation and growth in the biochemical industry. Creating sustainable and renewable solutions for both specialty and commodity chemicals.
Strain optimization was specifically studied by enhancing inorganic carbon uptake in synechococcus sp. 7002. It is desired to have both high flux and high affinity transport for the rapid and efficient uptake of HCO3- for enhanced cell growth. The results found that the regulatory gene for carbon transporters in synechococcus genome was successfully deleted. Increasing the toxicity limits of 2-Phenylethanol was done by using adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE). ALE is a widely used practice in biotechnology studies to gain insights on mechanisms of molecular evolution and to better define the functionality of microbial cell factories. It was found that after growing E. coli BW25113 under selective conditions the genome evolved for a higher fitness medium with an increased concentration of 2-Phenylethanol. Overall, two key tools used in bioprocess engineering were successful studied to gain a better insight on the future of biochemical production industry.

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2019-05

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Enhancing Escherichia coli Fermentative Performance with Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 Genes

Description

Renewable bioproduction through fermentation of microbial species such as E. coli shows much promise in comparison to conventional fossil fuel based chemical production. Although Escherichia coli is a workhorse for bioproduction, there are inherent limitations associated with the use of

Renewable bioproduction through fermentation of microbial species such as E. coli shows much promise in comparison to conventional fossil fuel based chemical production. Although Escherichia coli is a workhorse for bioproduction, there are inherent limitations associated with the use of this organism which negatively affect bioproduction. One example is E. coli fermentative growth being less robust compared to some microbes such as Lactobacilli under anaerobic and microaerobic fermentation conditions. Identification and characterization of its fermentative growth constraints will help in making E. coli a better fermentation host. In this thesis, I demonstrate that Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 has desirable fermentative capabilities that may be transferrable to E. coli through genetic engineering to alleviate growth restraints. This has led to the hypothesis that these L. plantarum DNA sequences are transferrable through a genomic library. A background of comparative genomics and complementary literature review has demonstrated that E. coli growth may be hindered by stress from many toxin-antitoxin systems. L. plantarum WCFS1 optimizes amino acid catabolism over glycolysis to generate high ATP levels from reducing agents and proton motive force, and Lactobacilli are resistant to acidic environments and encodes a wide variety of acid transporters that could help E. coli fermentative growth. Since a great variety of L. plantarum genes may contribute to its fermentative capabilities, a gDNA library containing L. plantarum WCFS1 genes has been successfully constructed for testing in E. coli bioproducers to search for specific genes that may enhance E. coli fermentative performance and elucidate the molecular basis of Lactobacillus fermentative success.

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2019-05

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Cheminformatic-based characterization of malate and lactate export networks

Description

Fermentative bioproduction is an efficient production avenue for many small organic acids with less greenhouse gas emissions than petrochemical conversion. Export of these organic acids from the cell is proposed to be mediated by networks of transmembrane transport proteins. However

Fermentative bioproduction is an efficient production avenue for many small organic acids with less greenhouse gas emissions than petrochemical conversion. Export of these organic acids from the cell is proposed to be mediated by networks of transmembrane transport proteins. However characterization of full transporter networks or the substrate promiscuity of individual transporters is often incomplete. Here, we used a cheminformatic approach to predict previously unknown native activity of E. coli transporters based on substrate promiscuity. Experimental validation in characterized several major putative malate exporters, whereas others were characterized as weak putative lactate exporters. The lactate export network remains incompletely characterized and might be mediated by a large, evolved network of promiscuous transporters.

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2018-12

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Improving Biochemical Production in Escherichia coli through Nutrient Limitation

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Escherichia coli is a bacterium that is used widely in metabolic engineering due to its ability to grow at a fast rate and to be cultured easily. E. coli can be engineered to produce many valuable chemicals, including biofuels and

Escherichia coli is a bacterium that is used widely in metabolic engineering due to its ability to grow at a fast rate and to be cultured easily. E. coli can be engineered to produce many valuable chemicals, including biofuels and L-Phenylalanine—a precursor to many pharmaceuticals. Significant cell growth occurs in parallel to the biosynthesis of the desired biofuel or biochemical product, and limits product concentrations and yields. Stopping cell growth can improve chemical production since more resources will go toward chemical production than toward biomass. The goal of the project is to test different methods of controlling microbial uptake of nutrients, specifically phosphate, to dynamically limit cell growth and improve biochemical production of E. coli, and the research has the potential to promote public health, sustainability, and environment. This can be achieved by targeting phosphate transporter genes using CRISPRi and CRISPR, and they will limit the uptake of phosphate by targeting the phosphate transporter genes in DNA, which will stop transcriptions of the genes. In the experiment, NST74∆crr∆pykAF, a L-Phe overproducer, was used as the base strain, and the pitA phosphate transporter gene was targeted in the CRISPRi and CRISPR systems with the strain with other phosphate transporters knocked out. The tested CRISPRi and CRISPR mechanisms did not stop cell growth or improved L-Phe production. Further research will be conducted to determine the problem of the system. In addition, the CRISPRi and CRISPR systems that target multiple phosphate transporter genes will be tested in the future as well as the other method of stopping transcriptions of the phosphate transporter genes, which is called a tunable toggle switch mechanism.

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2018-05

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Engineering a Co-culture System for Co-utilization of Lignocellulose-derived Sugars for Improved Biomass Conversion

Description

The inability of a single strain of bacteria to simultaneously and completely consume multiple sugars, such as glucose and xylose, hinder industrial microbial processes for ethanol and lactate production. To overcome this limitation, I am engineering an E. coli co-culture

The inability of a single strain of bacteria to simultaneously and completely consume multiple sugars, such as glucose and xylose, hinder industrial microbial processes for ethanol and lactate production. To overcome this limitation, I am engineering an E. coli co-culture system consisting of two ‘specialists'. One has the ability to only consume xylose and the other only glucose. This allows for co-utilization of lignocellulose-derived sugars so both sugars are completely consumed, residence time is reduced and lactate and ethanol titers are maximized.

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2017-05

Rational and Combinatorial Approaches to Engineering Styrene Production by Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Description

Background: Styrene is an important building-block petrochemical and monomer used to produce numerous plastics. Whereas styrene bioproduction by Escherichia coli was previously reported, the long-term potential of this approach will ultimately rely on the use of hosts with improved industrial phenotypes,

Background: Styrene is an important building-block petrochemical and monomer used to produce numerous plastics. Whereas styrene bioproduction by Escherichia coli was previously reported, the long-term potential of this approach will ultimately rely on the use of hosts with improved industrial phenotypes, such as the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Results: Classical metabolic evolution was first applied to isolate a mutant capable of phenylalanine over-production to 357 mg/L. Transcription analysis revealed up-regulation of several phenylalanine biosynthesis pathway genes including ARO3, encoding the bottleneck enzyme DAHP synthase. To catalyze the first pathway step, phenylalanine ammonia lyase encoded by PAL2 from A. thaliana was constitutively expressed from a high copy plasmid. The final pathway step, phenylacrylate decarboxylase, was catalyzed by the native FDC1. Expression of FDC1 was naturally induced by trans-cinnamate, the pathway intermediate and its substrate, at levels sufficient for ensuring flux through the pathway. Deletion of ARO10 to eliminate the competing Ehrlich pathway and expression of a feedback-resistant DAHP synthase encoded by ARO4[subscript K229L] preserved and promoted the endogenous availability precursor phenylalanine, leading to improved pathway flux and styrene production. These systematic improvements allowed styrene titers to ultimately reach 29 mg/L at a glucose yield of 1.44 mg/g, a 60% improvement over the initial strain.

Conclusions: The potential of S. cerevisiae as a host for renewable styrene production has been demonstrated. Significant strain improvements, however, will ultimately be needed to achieve economical production levels.

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2014-08-21

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Activity of Lactobacillus Brevis Alcohol Dehydrogenase on Primary and Secondary Alcohol Biofuel Precursors

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The R-specific alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) from Lactobacillus brevis LB19 (LbADH) was studied with respect to its ability to reduce a series of 3- through 5-carbon 2-alkanones and aldehydes of relevance as biofuel precursors. Although active on all substrates tested, LbADH

The R-specific alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) from Lactobacillus brevis LB19 (LbADH) was studied with respect to its ability to reduce a series of 3- through 5-carbon 2-alkanones and aldehydes of relevance as biofuel precursors. Although active on all substrates tested, LbADH displays a marked preference for longer chain substrates. Interestingly, however, 2-alkanones were found to impose substrate inhibition towards LbADH, whereas aldehyde substrates rendered no such effect. Inhibition caused by 2-alkanones was furthermore found to intensify with increasing chain length. Despite demonstrating both primary and secondary ADH activities, a preliminary sequence analysis suggests that LbADH remains distinct from other, previously characterized primary-secondary ADHs. In addition to further characterizing the substrate range of this industrially important enzyme, this study suggests that LbADH has the potential to serve as a useful enzyme for the engineering of various novel alcohol biofuel pathways.

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2015-08-05

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Investigation of the effect of efflux pumps on the toxicity of phenol, 2-phenylethanol, and styrene to E. coli

Description

Depletion of fossil fuel resources has led to the investigation of alternate feedstocks for and methods of chemical synthesis, in particular the use of E. coli biocatalysts to produce fine commodity chemicals from renewable glucose sources. Production of phenol, 2-phenylethanol,

Depletion of fossil fuel resources has led to the investigation of alternate feedstocks for and methods of chemical synthesis, in particular the use of E. coli biocatalysts to produce fine commodity chemicals from renewable glucose sources. Production of phenol, 2-phenylethanol, and styrene was investigated, in particular the limitation in yield and accumulation that results from high product toxicity. This paper examines two methods of product toxicity mitigation: the use of efflux pumps and the separation of pathways which produce less toxic intermediates. A library of 43 efflux pumps from various organisms were screened for their potential to confer resistance to phenol, 2-phenylethanol, and styrene on an E. coli host. A pump sourced from P. putida was found to allow for increased host growth in the presence of styrene as compared to a cell with no efflux pump. The separation of styrene producing pathway was also investigated. Cells capable of performing the first and latter halves of the synthesis were allowed to grow separately and later combined in order to capitalize on the relatively lower toxicity of the intermediate, trans-cinnamate. The styrene production and yield from this separated set of cultures was compared to that resulting from the growth of cells containing the full set of styrene synthesis genes. Results from this experiment were inconclusive.

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2015-05

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Optimization of the Production of Functional Antibodies to Discover Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Alzheimer's Disease

Description

Alzheimer's disease (AD), which currently affects approximately 5.4 million Americans, is a type of dementia, which causes memory, cognitive, and behavioral problems. AD is among the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States, typically affecting people ages

Alzheimer's disease (AD), which currently affects approximately 5.4 million Americans, is a type of dementia, which causes memory, cognitive, and behavioral problems. AD is among the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States, typically affecting people ages 65 and older. Beta-Amyloid (Aβ) is an Alzheimer's target protein, which starts as a single protein, but can misfold and bind to itself, forming larger chains and eventually fibrils and plaques of Aβ in the brain. Antibodies that bind to different regions and sizes of Aβ may prevent progression into a more toxic stage. The antibody worked with in this thesis, A4 scFv, binds to oligomeric Aβ. The objective of this antibody research is to optimize the production of functional antibodies, specifically A4, through modifications in the scFv growth process, in order to enhance the discovery of possible diagnostics and therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease. In order to produce functional A4 antibody, four complex sugars were tested in the E. Coli bacterial culture growth media that expresses the desired antibody. The sugars: sucrose, glucose, mannitol, and sorbitol were used in the growth process to improve the yield of functional antibody. Through the steps of growth, purification, and dialysis, the sugar sorbitol was found to provide the optimal results of ending functional antibody concentration. Once an ample amount of functional A4 scFv is produced, it can be used in assays as a biomarker for Alzheimer's disease.

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2014-05