Pyrethrins are natural insecticides, which accumulate to high concentrations in pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium) flowers. Synthetic pyrethroids are more stable, more efficacious and cheaper, but contemporary requirements for safe and environmentally friendly pesticides encourage a return to the use of natural pyrethrins, and this would be favoured by development of an efficient route to their production by microbial fermentation. The biosynthesis of pyrethrins involves ester linkage between an acid moiety (chrysanthemoyl or pyrethroyl, synthesised via the mevalonic acid pathway from glucose), and an alcohol (pyrethrolone). Pyrethrolone is generated from 3-oxo-2-(2'-pentenyl)-cyclopentane-1-octanoic acid, which originates from α-linolenic acid via the jasmonic acid biosynthetic cascade. The first four genes in this cascade, encoding lipoxygenase 2, allene-oxide synthase, allene-oxide cyclase 2 and 12-oxophytodienoic acid reductase 3, were amplified from an Arabidopsis thaliana cDNA library, cloned in a purpose-built fungal multigene expression vector and expressed in Aspergillus oryzae. HPLC-MS analysis of the transgenic fungus homogenate gave good evidence for the presence of 3-oxo-2-(2'-pentenyl)-cyclopentane-1-octanoic acid.
Transplantation of islets of Langerhans that have been isolated from whole pancreas is an attractive alternative for the reversal of Type 1 diabetes. However, in vitro culture of isolated pancreatic islets has been reported to cause a decrease in glucose response over time. Hence, the improvement in islet culture conditions is an important goal in islet transplantation. Heme Oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a stress protein that has been described as an inducible protein with the capacity of preventing apoptosis and cytoprotection via radical scavenging. Therefore, this study was aimed to assess the influence of endogenous HO-1 gene transfer on insulin secretion of caprine islets. The full-length cDNA sequence of Capra hircus HO-1 was determined using specific designed primers and rapid amplification of cDNA ends of pancreatic tissue. The HO-1 cDNA was then cloned into the prokaryotic expression vectors and transfected into caprine islets using lipid carriers. Efficiency of lipid carriers to transfect caprine islets was determined by flow cytometry. Insulin secretion assay was carried out by ovine insulin ELISA. The finding demonstrated that endogenous HO-1 gene transfer could improve caprine islet function in in vitro culture. Consequently, strategies using HO-1 gene transfer to islets might lead to better outcome in islet transplantation.
Terminal moieties of most proteins are long known to be disordered and flexible. To unravel the functional role of these regions on the structural stability and biochemical properties of AT2 lipase, four C-terminal end residues, (Ile-Thr-Arg-Lys) which formed a flexible, short tail-like random-coil segment were targeted for mutation. Swapping of the tail-like region had resulted in an improved crystallizability and anti-aggregation property along with a slight shift of the thermostability profile. The lipolytic activity of mutant (M386) retained by 43 % compared to its wild-type with 18 % of the remaining activity at 45 °C. In silico analysis conducted at 25 and 45 °C was found to be in accordance to the experimental findings in which the RMSD values of M386 were more stable throughout the total trajectory in comparison to its wild-type. Terminal moieties were also observed to exhibit large movement and flexibility as denoted by high RMSF values at both dynamics. Variation in organic solvent stability property was detected in M386 where the lipolytic activity was stimulated in the presence of 25 % (v/v) of DMSO, isopropanol, and diethyl ether. This may be worth due to changes in the surface charge residues at the mutation point which probably involve in protein-solvent interaction.
Members of the genus Aglaia have been reported to contain bioactive phytochemicals. The genus, belonging to the Meliaceae family, is represented by at least 120 known species of woody trees or shrubs in the tropical rain forest. As some of these species are very similar in their morphology, taxonomic identification can be difficult. A reliable and definitive molecular method which can identify Aglaia to the level of the species will hence be useful in comparing the content of specific bioactive compounds between the species of this genus. Here, we report the analysis of DNA sequences in the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA and the observation of a unique nucleotide signature in the ITS that can be used for the identification of Aglaia stellatopilosa. The nucleotide signature consists of nine bases over the length of the ITS sequence (654 bp). This uniqueness was validated in 37 samples identified as Aglaia stellatopilosa by an expert taxonomist, whereas the nucleotide signature was lacking in a selection of other Aglaia species and non-Aglaia genera. This finding suggests that molecular typing could be utilized in the identification of Aglaia stellatopilosa.
As the world population grows, the demand for food increases. Although vegetable oils provide an affordable and rich source of energy, the supply of vegetable oils available for human consumption is limited by the "fuel vs food" debate. To increase the nutritional value of vegetable oil, metabolic engineering may be used to produce oil crops of desirable fatty acid composition. We have isolated and characterized β-ketoacyl ACP-synthase II (KASII) cDNA from a high-oleic acid palm, Jessenia bataua. Jessenia KASII (JbKASII) encodes a 488-amino acid polypeptide that possesses conserved domains that are necessary for condensing activities. When overexpressed in E. coli, recombinant His-tagged JbKASII was insoluble and non-functional. However, Arabidopsis plants expressing GFP-JbKASII fusions had elevated levels of arachidic acid (C20:0) and erucic acid (C22:1) at the expense of stearic acid (C18:0) and oleic acid (C18:1). Furthermore, JbKASII failed to complement the Arabidopsis KASII mutant, fab1-2. This suggests that the substrate specificity of JbKASII is similar to that of ketoacyl-CoA synthase (KCS), which preferentially elongates stearic and oleic acids, and not palmitic acid. Our results suggest that the KCS-like JbKASII may elongate C18:0 and C18:1 to yield C20:0 and C22:1, respectively. JbKASII may, therefore, be an interesting candidate gene for promoting the production of very long chain fatty acids in transgenic oil crops.
In this study, we report the molecular characterization of clone Eg707 isolated from cell suspension culture of the oil palm. The deduced polypeptide of clone Eg707 is highly similar to an unknown protein from Arabidopsis thaliana. The presence of an Ald-Xan-dh-C2 superfamily domain in the deduced protein sequence suggested that Eg707 protein might be involved in abscisic acid biosynthesis. Eg707 might be present as a single copy gene in the oil palm genome. This gene is highly expressed in tissue cultured materials compared to vegetative and reproductive tissues, suggesting a role of this gene during oil palm somatic embryogenesis or at the early stages of embryo development. Expression analysis of Eg707 by RNA in situ hybridization showed that Eg707 transcripts were present throughout somatic embryo development starting from proembryo formation at the embryogenic callus stages till the maturing embryo stages. Since proembryo formation within the embryogenic callus is one of the first key factors in oil palm somatic embryo development, it is suggested that Eg707 could be used as a reliable molecular marker for detecting early stage of oil palm somatic embryogenesis.
Oil palm suspension cultures were initiated by transferring the gel-like friable embryogenic tissue onto liquid medium supplemented with auxins. In this study, transcripts that were differentially expressed in oil palm suspension cells cultured at different auxin concentrations were examined using suppression subtractive hybridization. Total RNA was first isolated from oil palm suspension cells proliferated in liquid medium with different hormone concentrations for 6 months. Four different hormone combinations: T1 (0.1 mg/l 2,4-D and 1.0 mg/l NAA), T2 (0.4 mg/l 2,4-D and 1.0 mg/l NAA), T3 (1.0 mg/l NAA), and T4 (0.4 mg/l 2,4-D) were used for the treatments. The first and second subtractions were performed using samples T1 and T2 in forward and reverse order. The other two subtractions were forward and reverse subtractions of T3 and T4, respectively. Reverse northern analyses showed that 14.13% of these clones were preferentially expressed in T1, 13.70% in T2, 14.75% in T3, and 15.70% in T4. Among the 294 cDNA clones that were sequenced, 61 contigs (assembled from 165 sequences) and 129 singletons were obtained. Among the 61 contigs, 10 contigs consist of sequences from treatment T1, 8 contigs were from treatment T2, 10 contigs were contains sequences of treatment T3 and 13 contigs contains sequences of treatment T4. Northern analyses of five transcripts that were shown to be differentially expressed in the oil palm suspension cells by reverse northern analysis revealed that transcripts 16A1 (a putative lignostilbene-alpha,beta-dioxygenase, EgLSD) and 16H12 (a putative ethylene responsive 6, EgER6) were differentially expressed in oil palm suspension cells treated with different levels of auxin.
The rapid and effective method for the isolation of RNA from green microalga Ankistrodesmus convolutus based on homogenization in a simple CTAB buffer and selective precipitation of RNA with lithium chloride is developed. This procedure avoids the use of toxic chaotropic agents and phenol while high concentration of dithiothreitol is used to inhibit RNase activity and prevent oxidative cross-linking of nucleic acids by phenolics. The extraction procedure was able to produce high quality and intact RNA from A. convolutus. The yield of total RNA was 0.69-0.73 mg/g of fresh weight, with A(260)/A(280) ratio of 1.79-1.86. The obtained RNA was of sufficient quality and suitable for downstream application such as RT-PCR and cDNA library construction. The procedure may also have wider applicability for total RNA isolation from other green microalgae species.
Regulation of RNA transcription in controlling the expression of genes at promoter and terminator regions is crucial as the interaction of RNA polymerase occurred at both sites. Gene encoding cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase (CGTase) from Bacillus sp. NR5 UPM isolated in the previous study was used for further construction of pTZCGT-SS, pTZCGT-BS and pTZCGT-BT expression systems for enhancement of CGTase production. The putative promoter regions, -35 and -10 sequences were found in the upstream of the mature gene start codon. Whereas, long inverted repeats sequences which can form a stable stem and loop structure was found downstream of the open reading frame (ORF) of Bacillus sp. NR5 UPM CGTase. The construction of E. coli strain harbouring pTZCGT-BS showed increment of 3.2-fold in CGTase activity compared to the wild type producer. However, insertion of terminator downstream of CGTase gene in E. coli strain harbouring pTZCGT-BT only resulted in 4.42 % increment of CGTase production compared to E. coli strain containing pTZCGT-BS, perhaps due to low intrinsic termination efficiency. Thus, it is suggested that the insertion of the putative promoter regions upstream of the coding sequence for the construction of CGTase expression system will further enhance in the recombinant enzyme production.
Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) is an effective method to identify different genes with different expression levels involved in a variety of biological processes. This method has often been used to study molecular mechanisms of plants in complex relationships with different pathogens and a variety of biotic stresses. Compared to other techniques used in gene expression profiling, SSH needs relatively smaller amounts of the initial materials, with lower costs, and fewer false positives present within the results. Extraction of total RNA from plant species rich in phenolic compounds, carbohydrates, and polysaccharides that easily bind to nucleic acids through cellular mechanisms is difficult and needs to be considered. Remarkable advancement has been achieved in the next-generation sequencing (NGS) field. As a result of progress within fields related to molecular chemistry and biology as well as specialized engineering, parallelization in the sequencing reaction has exceptionally enhanced the overall read number of generated sequences per run. Currently available sequencing platforms support an earlier unparalleled view directly into complex mixes associated with RNA in addition to DNA samples. NGS technology has demonstrated the ability to sequence DNA with remarkable swiftness, therefore allowing previously unthinkable scientific accomplishments along with novel biological purposes. However, the massive amounts of data generated by NGS impose a substantial challenge with regard to data safe-keeping and analysis. This review examines some simple but vital points involved in preparing the initial material for SSH and introduces this method as well as its associated applications to detect different novel genes from different plant species. This review evaluates general concepts, basic applications, plus the probable results of NGS technology in genomics, with unique mention of feasible potential tools as well as bioinformatics.
Biomolecules produced by living organisms can perform vast array of functions and play an important role in the cell. Important biomolecules such as lysozyme, bovine serum albumin (BSA), and bromelain are often studied by researchers due to their beneficial properties. The application of reverse micelles is an effective tool for protein separation from their sources due to the special system structure. Mechanisms of transferring biomolecules and factors that influence the extraction of biomolecules are reviewed in this paper. The enhancement of biomolecule extraction could be achieved depending on the properties of reverse micelles. This paper provides an overall review on lysozyme, BSA, and bromelain extraction by reverse micelle for various applications.
A broad range of cell lines with characteristic features are used as bio-factories to produce recombinant proteins for basic research and therapeutic purposes. Genetic engineering strategies have been used to manipulate the genome of mammalian cells, insects, and yeasts for heterologous expression. One reason is that the glycosylation pattern of the expression hosts differs somehow from mammalian cells, which may cause immunogenic reactions upon administration in humans. CRISPR-Cas9 is a simple, efficient, and versatile genome engineering tool that can be programmed to precisely make double-stranded breaks at the desired loci. Compared to the classical genome editing methods, a CRISPR-Cas9 system is an ideal tool, providing the opportunity to integrate or delete genes from the target organisms. Besides broadened applications, limited studies have used CRISPR-Cas9 for editing the endogenous pathways in expression systems for biopharmaceutical applications. In the present review, we discuss the use of CRISPR-Cas9 in expression systems to improve host cell lines, increase product yield, and humanize glycosylation pathways by targeting intrinsic genes.
Fatty acid desaturase enzymes are capable of inserting double bonds between carbon atoms of saturated fatty acyl-chains to produce unsaturated fatty acids. A gene coding for a putative Δ9-fatty acid desaturase-like protein was isolated from a cold-tolerant Pseudomonas sp. A8, cloned and heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. The gene named as PA8FAD9 has an open reading frame of 1185 bp and codes for 394 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 45 kDa. The enzyme showed high Δ9-fatty acid desaturase-like protein activity and increased overall levels of cellular unsaturated fatty acids in the recombinant E. coli cells upon expression at different temperatures. The results showed that the ratio of palmitoleic to palmitic acid in the recombinant E. coli cells increased by more than twice the amount observed in the control cells at 20 °C using 0.4 mM IPTG. GCMS analysis confirmed the ability of this enzyme to convert exogenous stearic acid to oleic acid incorporated into the recombinant E. coli membrane phospholipids. It may be concluded that the PA8FAD9 gene from Pseudomonas sp. A8 codes for a putative Δ9-fatty acid desaturase protein actively expressed in E. coli under the influence of temperature and an inducer.
Production of vanillin by bioengineering has gained popularity due to consumer demand toward vanillin produced by biological systems. Natural vanillin from vanilla beans is very expensive to produce compared to its synthetic counterpart. Current bioengineering works mainly involve microbial biotechnology. Therefore, alternative means to the current approaches are constantly being explored. This work describes the use of vanillin synthase (VpVAN), to bioconvert ferulic acid to vanillin in a plant system. The VpVAN enzyme had been shown to directly convert ferulic acid and its glucoside into vanillin and its glucoside, respectively. As the ferulic acid precursor and vanillin were found to be the intermediates in the phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathway of Capsicum species, this work serves as a proof-of-concept for vanillin production using Capsicum frutescens (C. frutescens or hot chili pepper). The cells of C. frutescens were genetically transformed with a codon optimized VpVAN gene via biolistics. Transformed explants were selected and regenerated into callus. Successful integration of the gene cassette into the plant genome was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. High-performance liquid chromatography was used to quantify the phenolic compounds detected in the callus tissues. The vanillin content of transformed calli was 0.057% compared to 0.0003% in untransformed calli.
An enzyme with broad substrate specificity would be an asset for industrial application. T1 lipase apparently has the same active site residues as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) depolymerase. Sequences of both enzymes were studied and compared, and a conserved lipase box pentapeptide region around the nucleophilic serine was detected. The alignment of 3-D structures for both enzymes showed their active site residues were well aligned with an RMSD value of 1.981 Å despite their sequence similarity of only 53.8%. Docking of T1 lipase with P(3HB) gave forth high binding energy of 5.4 kcal/mol, with the distance of 4.05 Å between serine hydroxyl (OH) group of TI lipase to the carbonyl carbon of the substrate, similar to the native PhaZ7 Pl . This suggests the possible ability of T1 lipase to bind P(3HB) in its active site. The ability of T1 lipase in degrading amorphous P(3HB) was investigated on 0.2% (w/v) P(3HB) plate. Halo zone was observed around the colony containing the enzyme which confirms that T1 lipase is indeed able to degrade amorphous P(3HB). Results obtained in this study highlight the fact that T1 lipase is a versatile hydrolase enzyme which does not only record triglyceride degradation activity but amorphous P(3HB) degradation activity as well.
Coptotermes curvignathus is a termite that, owing to its ability to digest living trees, serves as a gold mine for robust industrial enzymes. This unique characteristic reflects the presence of very efficient hydrolytic enzyme systems including cellulases. Transcriptomic analyses of the gut of C. curvignathus revealed that carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZy) were encoded by 3254 transcripts and that included 69 transcripts encoding glycoside hydrolase family 7 (GHF7) enzymes. Since GHF7 enzymes are useful to the biomass conversion industry, a gene encoding for a GHF7 enzyme (Gh1254) was synthesized, sub-cloned and expressed in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. Expressed GH1254 had an apparent molecular mass of 42 kDa, but purification was hampered by its low expression levels in shaken flasks. To obtain more of the enzyme, GH1254 was produced in a bioreactor that resulted in a fourfold increase in crude enzyme levels. The purified enzyme was active towards soluble synthetic substrates such as 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-cellobioside, 4-nitrophenyl-β-D-cellobioside and 4-nitrophenyl-β-D-lactoside but was non-hydrolytic towards Avicel or carboxymethyl cellulose. GH1254 catalyzed optimally at 35 °C and maintained 70% of its activity at 25 °C. This enzyme is thus potentially useful in food industries employing low-temperature conditions.
Microalgae are the most promising sources of protein, which have high potential due to their high-value protein content. Conventional methods of protein harnessing required multiple steps, and they are generally complex, time consuming, and expensive. Currently, the study of integration methods for microalgae cell disruption and protein recovery process as a single-step process is attracting considerable interest. This study aims to investigate the novel approach of integration method of electrolysis and liquid biphasic flotation for protein extraction from wet biomass of Chlorella sorokiniana CY-1 and obtaining the optimal operating conditions for the protein extraction. The optimized conditions were found at 60% (v/v) of 1-propanol as top phase, 250 g/L of dipotassium hydrogen phosphate as bottom phase, crude microalgae loading of 0.1 g, air flowrate of 150 cc/min, flotation time of 10 min, voltage of 20 V and electrode's tip touching the top phase of LBEF. The protein recovery and separation efficiency after optimization were 23.4106 ± 1.2514% and 173.0870 ± 4.4752%, respectively. Comparison for LBEF with and without the aid of electric supply was also conducted, and it was found that with the aid of electrolysis, the protein recovery and separation efficiency increased compared to the LBEF without electrolysis. This novel approach minimizes the steps for overall protein recovery from microalgae, time consumption, and cost of operation, which is beneficial in bioprocessing industry.
Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) has major impacts on yield and quality of the tuberous roots of cassava in Eastern and Central Arica. At least two Potyviridae species cause the disease: Cassava brown streak virus (CBSV) and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus (UCBSV). Cloned viral genome sequences known as infectious clones (ICs) have been important in the study of other viruses, both as a means of standardising infectious material and characterising viral gene function. IC construction is often technically challenging for Potyviridae due to sequence instability in E. coli. Here, we evaluate three methods for the construction of infectious clones for CBSD. Whilst a simple IC for in vitro transcription was made for UCBSV isolate 'Kikombe', such an approach failed to deliver full-length clones for CBSV isolates 'Nampula' or 'Tanza', necessitating more complex approaches for their construction. The ICs successfully generated symptomatic infection in the model host N. benthamiana and in the natural host cassava. This shows that whilst generating ICs for CBSV is still a technical challenge, a structured approach, evaluating both in vitro and in planta transcription systems should successfully deliver ICs, allowing further study into the symptomology and virulence factors in this important disease complex.
In the past decade, interest in the production of recombinant pharmaceutical proteins in plants has tremendously progressed because plants do not harbor mammalian viruses, are economically competitive, easily scalable, and capable of carrying out complex post-translational modifications required for recombinant pharmaceutical proteins. Mucuna bracteata is an essential perennial cover crop species widely planted as an underground cover in oil palm and rubber plantations. As a legume, they have high biomass, thrive in its habitat, and can fix nitrogen. Thus, M. bracteata is a cost-efficient crop that shows ideal characteristics as a platform for mass production of recombinant protein. In this study, we established a new platform for the transient production of a recombinant protein in M. bracteata via vacuum-assisted agro-infiltration. Five-week-old M. bracteata plants were vacuum infiltrated with Agrobacterium tumefaciens harboring a plasmid that encodes for an anti-toxoplasma immunoglobulin (IgG) under different parameters, including trifoliate leaf positional effects, days to harvest post-infiltration, and the Agrobacterium strain used. Our results showed that vacuum infiltration of M. bracteata plant with A. tumefaciens strain GV3101 produced the highest concentration of heterologous protein in its bottom trifoliate leaf at 2 days post-infiltration. The purified anti-toxoplasma IgG was then analyzed using Western blot and ELISA. It was demonstrated that, while structural heterogeneity existed in the purified anti-toxoplasma IgG from M. bracteata, its transient expression level was two-fold higher than the model platform, Nicotiana benthamiana. This study has laid the foundation towards establishing M. bracteata as a potential platform for the production of recombinant pharmaceutical protein.
The application of native enzymes may not be economical owing to the stability factor. A smaller protein molecule may be less susceptible to external stresses. Haloalkane dehalogenases (HLDs) that act on toxic haloalkanes may be incorporated as bioreceptors to detect haloalkane contaminants. Therefore, this study aims to develop mini proteins of HLD as an alternative bioreceptor which was able to withstand extreme conditions. Initially, the mini proteins were designed through computer modeling. Based on the results, five designed mini proteins were deemed to be viable stable mini proteins. They were then validated through experimental study. The smallest mini protein (model 5) was chosen for subsequent analysis as it was expressed in soluble form. No dehalogenase activity was detected, thus the specific binding interaction of between 1,3-dibromopropane with mini protein was investigated using isothermal titration calorimetry. Higher binding affinity between 1,3-dibromopropane and mini protein was obtained than the native. Thermal stability study with circular dichroism had proven that the mini protein possessed two times higher Tm value at 83.73 °C than the native at 43.97 °C. In conclusion, a stable mini protein was successfully designed and may be used as bioreceptors in the haloalkane sensor that is suitable for industrial application.