Researchers at Michigan State University have shaped a door that might lead to medicines, vitamins, and more being developed at reduced costs and with increased efficiency.
The international research team led by Henning Kirst andCheryl Kerfeld used bacterial microcompartments to produce valuable chemicals.
The department of sciences has recently published its work in the journalProceedings.
According to Kirst, a senior research associate in theKerfelds lab, which operates at the MSU and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Microcompartments, according to Kirst, Kerfeld, and their colleagues, have benefited from the power of enzymes found in bacteria in order to produce valuable chemical items, including biofuels and medicines.
However, in industrial applications, chemists depend often on the whole microorganism to produce the desired compound, which Kirst said can lead to difficulties and shortcomings.
The type of analogy we use is its like a house. It can be very complex if you start taking a shower in the basement, then you need to go back to the basement to get shampoo, then finish showering, and then to the first floor to get your towel. It''s only very disappointing.
In the case of microorganisms, the bacteria may create one ingredient on the other side of their cell, while the specific enzyme that uses it to make the final product is on the other side. Finally, there are other enzymes along the way that may snatch it up and use it for something else.
The enzymes reside in bacterial microcompartments, which are similar to those located inside the cell. The Spartans and their colleagues demonstrated they could modify microcompartments to optimize a specific reaction, bringing the necessary enzymes together in a similar, larger space rather than spreading them out.
Kirst said: "We are putting everything we need for a task in the same room." The compartmentalization gives us a lot more control and increases efficiency.
According to Kerfeld, a Hannah Distinguished Professor in the MSUDepartment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in theCollege of Natural Science and a faculty member in theMSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory.
The team developed a microcompartment program, which could transform simple and inexpensive compounds into pyruvate as a proof-of-concept.
Pyruvate is also a relatively simple precursor for virtually anything biology can make, for example, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, and flavorings. However, we believe that the whole concept is very generalizable to many other metabolic pathways that might be helpful to investigate.
They are not the only ones who think so.
In a commentary about the research, Volker Muller is a professor at Goethe University Frankfurt and is no longer involved in the project.
Several things have arrived on the table, indicating that the strategy to construct (bacterial microcompartments) for the production of various compounds from low-cost substrates is exciting.
Bacterial microcompartments are similar to those found in eukaryotes'' cells, including plants, humans, and other animals. Although they are found in many different types of bacteria, where they help to execute a variety of reactions, they are still relatively new to science. Kerfeld noted that using high-resolution electron microscopy and inexpensive gene sequencing would allow researchers to appreciate how widespread and versatile these compartments are.
The Spartan researchers have boosted that capability by working with scientists to develop versions of these compartments that aren''t found in nature.
Kerfeld said the compartment''s architecture may be taken for granted and placed in a completely new way of reaction. This strategy may be used in a variety of ways for many different applications, even applications that aren''t compatible with bacteria.
Kirst said that she thinks that''s the significant accomplishment. We made a significant leap towards making a synthetic bacterial organelle.