CROSS OVER: Compound Release Outside the cell after Secretion Stimulation by Vehicle Recognition

01 October 2018 → 30 September 2022
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Biomaterials engineering
    • Biological system engineering
    • Biomaterials engineering
    • Biomechanical engineering
    • Other (bio)medical engineering
    • Environmental engineering and biotechnology
    • Industrial biotechnology
    • Other biotechnology, bio-engineering and biosystem engineering
Project description

Industrial biotechnology puts microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts or molds to work for the
production of valuable compounds. In this way, chemicals, food or feed ingredients, detergents
and biofuels are mass-produced by microorganisms in an eco-friendly manner. Very often,
molecular biology is applied to alter the DNA of these microorganisms in order to enlarge the
range of interesting compounds they produce by nature. However, assembly of these compounds
usually occurs inside the cell, bringing along problems regarding toxicity and reduced yields.
Moreover, in quite some cases problems are encountered to get them out of the cell. This PhD
proposal is designed to solve this problem with the CROSS OVER system. The compound of
interest will be tagged with a simple but specific molecule: the vehicle. Next, this vehicle will
escort the compound outside the cell by use of a transporter protein. Once outside the cell, the
vehicle will be detached and will be re-shuttled into the cell to be reused for another round of
export. With this system, the interesting compounds are collected outside where much more
space is available and their recovery is easier. As a result, the production yield of valuable
compounds will be largely increased.