Background: α-Lactalbumin (a-LA), β-lactoglobulin (β-LG) and lactoferrin (LF) are of high nutritional value which have made ingredients of choice in the formulation of modern foods and beverages. There remains an urgent need to develop novel biosensing methods for quantification featuring reduced cost, improved sensitivity, selectivity and more rapid response, especially for simultaneous detection of multiple whey proteins.
Results: A novel visualized microarray method was developed for the determination of a-LA, β-LG and LF in milk samples without the need for complex or time-consuming pre-treatment steps. Read More
Background: Waste animal fat is a promising feedstock to replace vegetable oil that widely used in commercial biodiesel process, however the high content of free fatty acid in waste fat makes it unfeasible to be processed with commercial base-catalytic process. Enzymatic process is preferable to convert waste fat into biodiesel since enzyme can catalyze both esterification of free fatty acid and transesterification of triglyceride. However, enzymatic reaction still has some drawbacks such as lower reaction rates than base-catalyzed transesterification and the limitation of reactant concentration due to the enzyme inhibition of methanol. Read More
Background: Second-generation ethanol production is a clean bioenergy source with potential to mitigate fossil fuel emissions. The engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for xylose utilization is an essential step towards the production of this biofuel. Though xylose isomerase (XI) is the key enzyme for xylose conversion, almost half of the XI genes are not functional when expressed in S. Read More
Background: Membrane proteins define biological functions of membranes in cells. Extracellular peptides of transmembrane proteins receive signals from pathogens or environments, and are the major targets of drug developments. Despite of their essential roles, membrane proteins remain elusive in topological studies due to technique difficulties in their expressions and purifications. Read More
BMC Biotechnol 2017 Aug 30;17(1):68. Epub 2017 Aug 30.
Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Energy Genetics, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.189 Songling Road, Laoshan District, Qingdao, Shandong Province, 266101, China.
Background: Arachidonic acid (ARA, C20:4, n-6), which belongs to the omega-6 series of polyunsaturated fatty acids and has a variety of biological activities, is commercially produced in Mortierella alpina. Dissolved oxygen or oxygen utilization efficiency is a critical factor for Mortierella alpina growth and arachidonic acid production in large-scale fermentation. Overexpression of the Vitreoscilla hemoglobin gene is thought to significantly increase the oxygen utilization efficiency of the cells. Read More
Background: Genetically modified crops (GM crops) have been developed to improve the agricultural traits of modern crop cultivars. Safety assessments of GM crops are of paramount importance in research at developmental stages and before releasing transgenic plants into the marketplace. Sequencing technology is developing rapidly, with higher output and labor efficiencies, and will eventually replace existing methods for the molecular characterization of genetically modified organisms. Read More
Background: Phloroglucinol is an important chemical, and the biosynthesis processes which can convert glucose to phloroglucinol have been established. However, due to approximate 80% of the glucose being transformed into undesirable by-products and biomass, this biosynthesis process only shows a low yield with the highest value of about 0.20 g/g. Read More
Background: Umbilical cord blood provides a source of hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation with immunological and availability advantages over conventional bone marrow sources. Limited cell numbers and slower engraftment from umbilical cord blood units has led to the clinical development of immobilised Notch ligand Delta-Like 1 to promote ex vivo expansion of a rapidly engrafting cell population. However, current immobilisation methods are not simple to scale in a controlled manner. Read More
BMC Biotechnol 2017 Aug 2;17(1):64. Epub 2017 Aug 2.
ICAR-National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, LBS Centre, Pusa Campus, New Delhi, 110012, India.
Background: Development of chimeric Cry toxins by protein engineering of known and validated proteins is imperative for enhancing the efficacy and broadening the insecticidal spectrum of these genes. Expression of novel Cry proteins in food crops has however created apprehensions with respect to the safety aspects. To clarify this, premarket evaluation consisting of an array of analyses to evaluate the unintended effects is a prerequisite to provide safety assurance to the consumers. Read More
Background: Acetic acid is a predominant by-product of lignocellulosic biofuel process, which inhibits microbial biocatalysts. Development of bacterial strains that are tolerant to acetic acid is challenging due to poor understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms.
Results: In this study, we generated and characterized two acetic acid-tolerant strains of Zymomonas mobilis using N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (NTG)-acetate adaptive breeding. Read More
Background: Direct manipulation of the genome is a widespread technique for genetic studies and synthetic biology applications. The tyrosine and serine site-specific recombination systems of bacteriophages HK022 and ΦC31 are widely used for stable directional exchange and relocation of DNA sequences, making them valuable tools in these contexts. We have developed site-specific recombination tools that allow the direct selection of recombination events by embedding the attB site from each system within the β-lactamase resistance coding sequence (bla). Read More
Background: The T-cell receptor (TCR), located on the surface of T cells, is responsible for the recognition of the antigen-major histocompatibility complex, leading to the initiation of an inflammatory response. Analysing the TCR repertoire may help to gain a better understanding of the immune system features and of the aetiology and progression of diseases, in particular those with unknown antigenic triggers. The extreme diversity of the TCR repertoire represents a major analytical challenge; this has led to the development of specialized methods which aim to characterize the TCR repertoire in-depth. Read More
Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, 68588-0304, USA.
Background: The environmental gliding bacteria Lysobacter are emerging as a new group of biocontrol agents due to their prolific production of lytic enzymes and potent antibiotic natural products. These bacteria are intrinsically resistant to many antibiotics, but the mechanisms behind the antibiotic resistance have not been investigated.
Results: Previously, we have used chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene (cat) as a selection marker in genetic manipulation of natural product biosynthetic genes in Lysobacter, because chloramphenicol is one of the two common antibiotics that Lysobacter are susceptible to. Read More
Background: Dissolved oxygen tension (DOT) is hardly constant and homogenously distributed in a bioreactor, which can have a negative impact in the metabolism and product synthesis. However, the effects of DOT on plasmid DNA (pDNA) production and quality have not been thoroughly investigated. In the present study, the effects of aerobic (DOT ≥30% air sat. Read More
Background: Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is an endocrine-acting hormone that has the potential to treat diabetic nephropathy. However, development of FGF21 into a therapeutic has been hindered due to its low intrinsic bio-stability. In our previous study, we have developed a recombinant human FGF21 (rhFGF21) variant by site-directed mutagenesis and solid-phase PEGylation, which retained its biological function. Read More
Background: Fas ligand plays a key role in the human immune system as a major cell death inducing protein. The extracellular domain of human Fas ligand (hFasLECD) triggers apoptosis of malignant cells, and therefore is expected to have substantial potentials in medical biotechnology. However, the current application of this protein to clinical medicine is hampered by a shortage of the benefits relative to the drawbacks including the side-effects in systemic administration. Read More
Background: Effective and simple methods that lead to higher enzymatic efficiencies are highly sough. Here we proposed a foldon-triggered trimerization of the target enzymes with significantly improved catalytic performances by fusing a foldon domain at the C-terminus of the enzymes via elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs). The foldon domain comprises 27 residues and can forms trimers with high stability. Read More
BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jun 20;17(1):54. Epub 2017 Jun 20.
Health Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Takamatsu, Kagawa, 761-0395, Japan.
Background: Three-dimensional (3D) spheroids are frequently used in toxicological study because their morphology and function closely resemble those of tissue. As these properties are maintained over a long term, repeated treatment of the spheroids with a test object is possible. Generally, in the repeated treatment test to assess cytotoxicity in the spheroids, ATP assay, colorimetric measurement using pigments or high-content imaging analysis is performed. Read More
BMC Biotechnol 2017 Jun 21;17(1):55. Epub 2017 Jun 21.
Laboratory of Feed Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science & Technology, China Agricultural University, No.2 Yuanmingyuan West Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100193, China.
Background: Xylanase degrades xylan into monomers of various sizes by catalyzing the endohydrolysis of the 1,4-β-D-xylosidic linkage randomly, possessing potential in wide industrial applications. Most of xylanases are susceptible to be inactive when suffering high temperature and high alkaline process. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a high amount of effective thermoalkaliphilic xylanases. Read More
Background: Alpha amylase hydrolyzes α-bonds of polysaccharides such as starch and produces malto-oligosaccharides. Its starch saccharification applications make it an essential enzyme in the textile, food and brewing industries. Commercially available α-amylase is mostly produced from Bacillus or Aspergillus. Read More
Background: Cotton fiber, a natural fiber widely used in the textile industry, is differentiated from single cell of ovule epidermis. A large number of genes are believed to be involved in fiber formation, but so far only a few fiber genes have been isolated and functionally characterized in this developmental process. The Kinesin13 subfamily was found to play key roles during cell division and cell elongation, and was considered to be involved in the regulation of cotton fiber development. Read More
Background: The Gaussia princeps luciferase is used as a stand-alone reporter of transgene expression for in vitro and in vivo expression systems due to the rapid and easy monitoring of luciferase activity. We sought to simultaneously quantitate production of other recombinant proteins by transcriptionally linking the Gaussia princeps luciferase gene to other genes of interest through the foot-and-mouth disease virus 2A translational interrupter sequence.
Results: We produced six plasmids, each encoding a single open reading frame, with the foot-and-mouth disease virus 2A sequence placed either N-terminal or C-terminal to the Gaussia princeps luciferase gene. Read More
Background: The discharge of poorly treated effluents into the environment has far reaching, consequential impacts on human and aquatic life forms. Thus, we evaluated the flocculating efficiency of our test bioflocculant and we report for the first time the ability of the biopolymeric flocculant produced by Arthrobacter humicola in the treatment of sewage wastewater. This strain was isolated from sediment soil sample at Sterkfontein dam in the Eastern Free State province of South Africa. Read More
Background: Somatic cell selection in plants allows the recovery of spontaneous mutants from cell cultures. When coupled with the regeneration of plants it allows an effective approach for the recovery of novel traits in plants. This study undertook somatic cell selection in the potato (Solanum tuberosum L. Read More
Background: Whey permeate is a lactose-rich effluent remaining after protein extraction from milk-resulting cheese whey, an abundant dairy waste. The lactose to ethanol fermentation can complete whey valorization chain by decreasing dairy waste polluting potential, due to its nutritional load, and producing a biofuel from renewable source at the same time. Wild type and engineered microorganisms have been proposed as fermentation biocatalysts. Read More
Background: Bluetongue is a disease of domestic and wild ruminants caused by bluetongue virus serotypes (BTV), which have caused serious outbreaks worldwide. Commercially available vaccines are live-attenuated or inactivated virus strains: these are effective, but there is the risk of reversion to virulence or reassortment with circulating strains for live virus, and residual live virus for the inactivated vaccines. The live-attenuated virus vaccines are not able to distinguish naturally infected animals from vaccinated animals (DIVA compliant). Read More
Background: Traditional submerged fermentation mainly accumulates intracellular orange pigments with absorption maxima at 470 nm, whereas extractive fermentation of Monascus spp. with Triton X-100 can promote the export of intracellular pigments to extracellular broth, mainly obtaining extracellular yellow pigments with absorption maxima at approximately 410 nm. In this study, a strain of Monascus (M. Read More
Background: Endo-xylanases are essential in degrading hemicellulose of various lignocellulosic substrates. Hemicellulose degradation by Geobacillus spp. is facilitated by the hemicellulose utilization (HUS) locus that is present in most strains belonging to this genus. Read More
Background: Ultrasound and microbubbles (USMB) have been shown to enhance the intracellular uptake of molecules, generally thought to occur as a result of sonoporation. The underlying mechanism associated with USMB-enhanced intracellular uptake such as membrane disruption and endocytosis may also be associated with USMB-induced release of cellular materials to the extracellular milieu. This study investigates USMB effects on the molecular release from cells through membrane-disruption and exocytosis. Read More
Background: Targeted delivery of gene therapy vectors to the mouse respiratory tract is often performed via intranasal or intratracheal administration; however, there can be a great deal of variability between these methods, which could potentially influence experimental results. Improving the accuracy and precision of lung delivery will not only reduce the number of animals required to detect statistically significant differences, but may reduce the variability of studies from different laboratories.
Results: Here we evaluated three different methods of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector administration to the respiratory tract in mice (intranasal, intubation, and intratracheal injection) and discuss the advantages, challenges, and shortcomings of each. Read More
Background: Polysialic acid (polySia) is a carbohydrate modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), which is implicated in neural differentiation and plays an important role in tumor development and metastasis. Polysialylation of NCAM is mediated by two Golgi-resident polysialyltransferases (polyST) ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV. Intracellular antibodies (intrabodies; IB) expressed inside the ER and retaining proteins passing the ER such as cell surface receptors or secretory proteins provide an efficient means of protein knockdown. Read More
Background: At first glance, there appears to be a high degree of similarity between the metabolism of yeast (the Crabtree effect) and human cancer cells (the Warburg effect). At the root of both effects is accelerated metabolic flow through glycolysis which leads to overflows of ethanol and lactic acid, respectively. It has been proposed that enhanced glycolytic flow in cancer cells is triggered by the altered kinetic characteristics of the key glycolytic regulatory enzyme 6-phosphofructo-1-kinase (Pfk). Read More
Background: Switchgrass is C4 perennial grass species that is being developed as a cellulosic bioenergy feedstock. It is wind-pollinated and considered to be an obligate outcrosser. Genetic engineering has been used to alter cell walls for more facile bioprocessing and biofuel yield. Read More
Background: Panicum hallii Vasey (Hall's panicgrass) is a compact, perennial C4 grass in the family Poaceae, which has potential to enable bioenergy research for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). Unlike P. Read More
Background: Propionate is widely used as an important preservative and important chemical intermediate for synthesis of cellulose fibers, herbicides, perfumes and pharmaceuticals. Biosynthetic propionate has mainly been produced by Propionibacterium, which has various limitations for industrial application.
Results: In this study, we engineered E. Read More
Background: N-Butanol has favorable characteristics for use as either an alternative fuel or platform chemical. Bio-based n-butanol production using microbes is an emerging technology that requires further development. Although bio-industrial microbes such as Escherichia coli have been engineered to produce n-butanol, reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated toxicity may limit productivity. Read More
Background: Enzymatic degradation of chitin has attracted substantial attention because chitin is an abundant renewable natural resource, second only to lignocellulose, and because of the promising applications of N-acetylglucosamine in the bioethanol, food and pharmaceutical industries. However, the low activity and poor tolerance to salts and N-acetylglucosamine of most reported β-N-acetylglucosaminidases limit their applications. Mining for novel enzymes from new microorganisms is one way to address this problem. Read More
Background: Placental defects in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) are a major cause of complications during pregnancy. One of the most critical factors for the success of SCNT is the successful epigenetic reprogramming of donor cells. Recently, it was reported that the placental weight in mice cloned with the aggregated SCNT method was significantly reduced. Read More
Background: Recombinant factor VIII (FVIII), used for haemophilia A therapy, is one of the most challenging among the therapeutic proteins produced in heterologous expression systems. Deletion variant of FVIII, in which the entire domain B is replaced by a short linker peptide, was approved for medical use. Efficacy and safety of this FVIII deletion variant are similar to full-length FVIII preparations while the level of production in CHO cells is substantially higher. Read More
Background: Aldehyde-deformylating oxygenase (ADO) is a key enzyme involved in the biosynthetic pathway of fatty alk(a/e)nes in cyanobacteria. However, cADO (cyanobacterial ADO) showed extreme low activity with the k cat value below 1 min(-1), which would limit its application in biofuel production. To identify the activity related key residues of cADO is urgently required. Read More
Background: Restriction-free (RF) cloning, a PCR-based method for the creation of custom DNA plasmids, allows for the insertion of any sequence into any plasmid vector at any desired position, independent of restriction sites and/or ligation. Here, we describe a simple and fast method for performing gene reconstitution by modified RF cloning.
Results: Double-stranded inserts and acceptors were first amplified by regular PCR. Read More
Background: Contamination of agricultural commodities with multiple trichothecene mycotoxins, produced by toxigenic Fusarium species, is a food safety issue, which greatly affects grain production and marketing worldwide. Importantly, exposure to multiple trichothecenes may increase toxicity in animals due to their synergistic and/or additive effects. To address the problem this study aimed to achieve a novel biological trait capable of detoxifying various food and feed contaminating trichothecenes under aerobic and anaerobic conditions and wide range of temperatures. Read More
Background: Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a major crop extensively cultivated in the tropics as both an important source of calories and a promising source for biofuel production. Although stable gene expression have been used for transgenic breeding and gene function study, a quick, easy and large-scale transformation platform has been in urgent need for gene functional characterization, especially after the cassava full genome was sequenced.
Methods: Fully expanded leaves from in vitro plantlets of Manihot esculenta were used to optimize the concentrations of cellulase R-10 and macerozyme R-10 for obtaining protoplasts with the highest yield and viability. Read More
Background: The tissue culture banana (TCB) is a biotechnological agricultural innovation that has been adopted widely in commercial banana production. In 2003, Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International (AH) initiated a TCB program that was explicitly developed for smallholder farmers in Kenya to help them adopt the TCB as a scalable agricultural business opportunity. At the heart of the challenge of encouraging more widespread adoption of the TCB is the question: what is the best way to introduce the TCB technology, and all its attendant practices and opportunities, to smallholder farmers. Read More
Background: Oleaginous organisms are a promising, renewable source of single cell oil. Lipid accumulation is mainly induced by limitation of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus or sulfur. The oleaginous yeast Trichosporon oleaginosus accumulates up to 70% w/w lipid under nitrogen stress, while cultivation in non-limiting media only yields 9% w/w lipid. Read More
Background: Recent researches have been focusing on mucosal immune adjuvants, which play the key roles in mucosal immunization and have become the limitation for non-injected vaccine development. Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin B subunit (LTB) was regarded as a promising mucosal adjuvant for its nontoxicity and potent activity. LTB preparation issues have always been recurring, in part owing to that the recombinant LTB expressed by E. Read More
Background: Short hairpin RNA (shRNA) is an established and effective tool for stable knock down of gene expression. Lentiviral vectors can be used to deliver shRNAs, thereby providing the ability to infect most mammalian cell types with high efficiency, regardless of proliferation state. Furthermore, the use of inducible promoters to drive shRNA expression allows for more thorough investigations into the specific timing of gene function in a variety of cellular processes. Read More
Background: α-Amylase plays a pivotal role in a broad range of industrial processes. To meet increasing demands of biocatalytic tasks, considerable efforts have been made to isolate enzymes produced by extremophiles. However, the relevant data of α-amylases from cold-adapted fungi are still insufficient. Read More