ENGINEERING BACTERIAL NANOCOMPARTMENTS FOR PROTEIN PRODUCTION AND ENHANCE ENZYME ACTIVITY

Efrain Zarazua-Arvizu is currently studying for a PhD in Molecular and Structural Biology. He is interested in the usage of Synthetic Biology tools to develop modular systems based in bacterial micro-compartments to explore its potential to produce high value compounds and scaffolds for industrial biotechnology and nanotechnology.

Efrain will be talking on his PhD topic at IBioIC19.

Project: Engineering Bacterial Nanocompartments for Protein Production and Enhance Enzyme Activity

I am Efrain Zarazua-Arvizu and I am currently studying a PhD in Molecular and Structural Biology at the Institute of Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, The University of Edinburgh. I am Interested in the use of Synthetic Biology tools to develop modular systems based on bacterial nanocompartments to explore its potential to produce high-value compounds and scaffolds for industrial biotechnology and Nano-Biotechnology.

For the IBioIC Annual Conference in 2019 I will talk about my research project, the main objective of which is to encapsulate single molecules using Nano-Cages.

Through genetic engineering we utilise bacteria to produce the nanocages as well as the molecules that will be enclosed within them. The production of encapsulated compounds provides various potential benefits for industrial and pharmaceutical applications, for instance, the isolation of toxic compound can prevent cellular damage and/or protect the encaged molecules from external harm which is traduced in better production yields.

Moreover, it is possible to engineer nano-capsules and use them as drugs carriers to direct pharmaceutical particles to specific target organs, making them work as a highly specialised drug delivery system. What’s more, the encapsulation of drugs diminishes unwanted interactions with, and toxicity for, untargeted cells, which could decrease undesirable side effects.

In summary, we are developing a technology platform to encapsulate high-value proteins to increase their production and to enhance enzyme activity for downstream applications by the utilisation of synthetic biology approaches.

Efrain Zarazua-Arvizu
PhD Candidate
The University of Edinburgh