Publications by authors named "Bernardo Cervantes"

2 Publications

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Employing a biochemical protecting group for a sustainable indigo dyeing strategy.

Nat Chem Biol 2018 03 8;14(3):256-261. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA.

Indigo is an ancient dye uniquely capable of producing the signature tones in blue denim; however, the dyeing process requires chemical steps that are environmentally damaging. We describe a sustainable dyeing strategy that not only circumvents the use of toxic reagents for indigo chemical synthesis but also removes the need for a reducing agent for dye solubilization. This strategy utilizes a glucose moiety as a biochemical protecting group to stabilize the reactive indigo precursor indoxyl to form indican, preventing spontaneous oxidation to crystalline indigo during microbial fermentation. Application of a β-glucosidase removes the protecting group from indican, resulting in indigo crystal formation in the cotton fibers. We identified the gene coding for the glucosyltransferase PtUGT1 from the indigo plant Polygonum tinctorium and solved the structure of PtUGT1. Heterologous expression of PtUGT1 in Escherichia coli supported high indican conversion, and biosynthesized indican was used to dye cotton swatches and a garment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.2552DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5866135PMC
March 2018

A Highly Characterized Yeast Toolkit for Modular, Multipart Assembly.

ACS Synth Biol 2015 Sep 1;4(9):975-86. Epub 2015 May 1.

Department of Bioengineering, University of California , Berkeley, California 94720, United States.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an increasingly attractive host for synthetic biology because of its long history in industrial fermentations. However, until recently, most synthetic biology systems have focused on bacteria. While there is a wealth of resources and literature about the biology of yeast, it can be daunting to navigate and extract the tools needed for engineering applications. Here we present a versatile engineering platform for yeast, which contains both a rapid, modular assembly method and a basic set of characterized parts. This platform provides a framework in which to create new designs, as well as data on promoters, terminators, degradation tags, and copy number to inform those designs. Additionally, we describe genome-editing tools for making modifications directly to the yeast chromosomes, which we find preferable to plasmids due to reduced variability in expression. With this toolkit, we strive to simplify the process of engineering yeast by standardizing the physical manipulations and suggesting best practices that together will enable more straightforward translation of materials and data from one group to another. Additionally, by relieving researchers of the burden of technical details, they can focus on higher-level aspects of experimental design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/sb500366vDOI Listing
September 2015