Engineered Shell Proteins to Enable Electron Transfer Across the Shell of a Bacterial Microcompartment

INTRODUCTION 

Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) are organelles used by various bacteria to encapsulate metabolic pathways into a proteinaceous shell. Because of their attributes (self-assembling modules, optimization of the reactions in their lumen.) they have potential as catalytic bioreactors that can be customized to support new metabolic functions. The introduction in the shell of an electron transfer functionality would allow the encapsulation of oxidoreduction pathways of biotechnological interest, therefore expanding the functional repertoire of these BMCs. It has been demonstrated that synthetic BMC shells can be generated (Lassila et al., J Mol. Biol, 2014 426(11)) and to this end enables development of this technology.

BMC’s are currently known to carry out aldehyde oxidation metabolisms on small molecules including propandiol, ethanolamine, and amino-2-propanols. Intermediates generated in the breakdown of these molecules are known to be damaging to the cell. The core enzymes of these BMCs are aldehyde dehydrogenase, alcohol dehydrogenase, and phospotransacylase.

DESCRIPTION OF TECHNOLOGY 

This technology is the bacterial microcompartment shell protein BMC-T1 from H. ochraceum engineered to contain [4Fe-4S] clusters through specific point mutations. These clusters allow for the continued transfer of electrons (oxidation- reduction cycles) from one side of the bacterial microcompartment to the other. This technology provides three varieties of the modified BMC-T1 protein through 3 specific point mutations in the interprotein pore, which enables several redox potentials to cater to various needs. This technology enables bacterial microcompartments to become novel nanobio catalytic sites in vivo or in vitro.

BENEFITS

  • Contained redox reactions
  • Platform for intracellular biotransformations 
  • Faster, more efficient biotransformations 

APPLICATIONS

  • Bionanoreactors
  • Biofuel production (hydrogen)
  • Bio circuits 

PATENT STATUS 

US 16/654,894 pending

TECH ID

TEC2016-0019

For more information about this technology, contact Tom Herlache at herlache@msu.edu or (517) 355-2186
 

Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University
herlache@msu.edu
Keywords: