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Biotechnology Advances

Joana Gangoiti, Tjaard Pijning, Lubbert Dijkhuizen
Transglucosidases belonging to the glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 70 are promising enzymatic tools for the synthesis of α-glucans with defined structures from renewable sucrose and starch substrates. Depending on the GH70 enzyme specificity, α-glucans with different structures and physicochemical properties are produced, which have found diverse (potential) commercial applications, e.g. in food, health and as biomaterials. Originally, the GH70 family was established only for glucansucrase enzymes of lactic acid bacteria that catalyze the synthesis of α-glucan polymers from sucrose...
November 10, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Diana Gulei, Nikolay Mehterov, Seyed Mohammad Nabavi, Atanas Georgiev Atanasov, Ioana Berindan-Neagoe
The current trend of combining state of the art technologies with quondam treatments in order to overcome existing gaps in clinics determined an increased interest into polyphenols, common dietary phytochemicals, for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, especially cancer. The reemergence of polyphenols in the cancer field is sustained by transcriptomics technologies able to identify coding and non-coding genes and their related signaling pathways modulated by natural compounds. Identification of the structural correspondence between interacting molecules will allow the development of more targeted and informed therapeutic strategies for cancer management...
November 9, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Zhiliang Yang, Zisheng Zhang
Pichia pastoris has been recognized as one of the most industrially important hosts for heterologous protein production. Despite its high protein productivity, the optimization of P. pastoris cultivation is still imperative due to strain- and product-specific challenges such as promoter strength, methanol utilization type and oxygen demand. To address the issues, strategies involving genetic and process engineering have been employed. Optimization of codon usage and gene dosage, as well as engineering of promoters, protein secretion pathways and methanol metabolic pathways have proved beneficial to innate protein expression levels...
November 9, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Xinqing Zhao, Jens Nielsen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 26, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
H Edward Wong, Chung-Jr Huang, Zhongqi Zhang
Proteins provide the molecular basis for cellular structure, catalytic activity, signal transduction, and molecular transport in biological systems. Recombinant protein expression is widely used to prepare and manufacture novel proteins that serve as the foundation of many biopharmaceutical products. However, protein translation bioprocesses are inherently prone to low-level errors. These sequence variants caused by amino acid misincorporation have been observed in both native and recombinant proteins. Protein sequence variants impact product quality, and their presence can be exacerbated through cellular stress, overexpression, and nutrient starvation...
October 26, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Yan-Ru Lou, Alan W Leung
Organoids are in vitro cultures of miniature fetal or adult organ-like structures. Their potentials for use in tissue and organ replacement, disease modeling, toxicology studies, and drug discovery are tremendous. Currently, major challenges facing human organoid technology include (i) improving the range of cellular heterogeneity for a particular organoid system, (ii) mimicking the native micro- and matrix-environment encountered by cells within organoids, and (iii) developing robust protocols for the in vitro maturation of organoids that remain mostly fetal-like in cultures...
October 19, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Vinod Kumar, Sunghoon Park
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a Gram-negative facultative anaerobe that metabolizes glycerol efficiently under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. This microbe is considered an outstanding biocatalyst for transforming glycerol into a variety of value-added products. Crude glycerol is a cheap carbon source and can be converted by K. pneumoniae into useful compounds such as lactic acid, 3-hydroxypropionic acid, ethanol, 1,3-propanediol, 2,3-butanediol, and succinic acid. This review summarizes glycerol metabolism in K...
October 19, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Clifford S Morrison, William B Armiger, David R Dodds, Jonathan S Dordick, Mattheos A G Koffas
Industrial enzymatic reactions requiring 1,4-NAD(P)H2 to perform redox transformations often require convoluted coupled enzyme regeneration systems to regenerate 1,4-NAD(P)H2 from NAD(P) and recycle the cofactor for as many turnovers as possible. Renewed interest in recycling the cofactor via electrochemical means is motivated by the low cost of performing electrochemical reactions, easy monitoring of the reaction progress, and straightforward product recovery. However, electrochemical cofactor regeneration methods invariably produce adventitious reduced cofactor side products which result in unproductive loss of input NAD(P)...
October 10, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Hossein Salehizadeh, Ning Yan, Ramin Farnood
Natural polysaccharides, derived from biomass feedstocks, marine resources, and microorganisms, have been attracting considerable attention as benign and environmentally friendly substitutes for synthetic polymeric products. Besides many other applications, these biopolymers are rapidly emerging as viable alternatives to harmful synthetic flocculating agents for the removal of contaminants from water and wastewater. In recent years, a great deal of effort has been devoted to improve the production and performance of polysaccharide bio-based flocculants...
October 7, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Mehdi Farokhi, Fatemeh Mottaghitalab, Saeed Samani, Mohammad Ali Shokrgozar, Subhas C Kundu, Rui L Reis, Yousef Fattahi, David L Kaplan
Silk fibroin (SF) is a natural fibrous polymer with strong potential for many biomedical applications. SF has attracted interest in the field of bone tissue engineering due to its extraordinary characteristics in terms of elasticity, flexibility, biocompatibility and biodegradability. However, low osteogenic capacity has limited applications for SF in the orthopedic arena unless suitably functionalized. Hydroxyapatite (HAp) is a well-established bioceramic with biocompatibility and appropriate for constructing orthopedic and dental substitutes...
October 6, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Jianjun Hu, Dillirani Nagarajan, Quanguo Zhang, Jo-Shu Chang, Duu-Jong Lee
Pigments (mainly carotenoids) are important nutraceuticals known for their potent anti-oxidant activities and have been used extensively as high end health supplements. Microalgae are the most promising sources of natural carotenoids and are devoid of the toxic effects associated with synthetic derivatives. Compared to photoautotrophic cultivation, heterotrophic cultivation of microalgae in well-controlled bioreactors for pigments production has attracted much attention for commercial applications due to overcoming the difficulties associated with the supply of CO2 and light, as well as avoiding the contamination problems and land requirements in open autotrophic culture systems...
September 22, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Meng Wang, Biqiang Chen, Yunming Fang, Tianwei Tan
Cofactors are involved in numerous intracellular reactions and critically influence redox balance and cellular metabolism. Cofactor engineering can support and promote the biocatalysis process, even help driving thermodynamically unfavorable reactions forwards. To achieve efficient production of chemicals and biofuels, cofactor engineering strategies such as altering cofactor supply or modifying reactants' cofactor preference have been developed to maintain redox balance. This review focuses primarily on the effects of cofactor engineering on carbon and energy metabolism...
September 20, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Li-Wen Zhu, Ya-Jie Tang
As an important intermediate feedstock, succinate is termed as one of the 12 bio-based platform chemicals. To improve its fermentative production, various strategies have been developed, but challenges are still ahead for succinate biosynthesis to be cost-competitive. In this article, strategies for succinate production through metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli are critically reviewed, with a focus on engineering by-product formation and CO2 fixation, substrate utilization, reducing power balance, metabolic evolution and transcriptional regulation, which provide insights for the current state of succinate production and perspectives for further research for more efficient and economical production of bio-based succinate...
September 19, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Fumio Matsuda, Yoshihiro Toya, Hiroshi Shimizu
Quantitative analysis of metabolism has been used to identify driver reactions occurring during cancer development and bottleneck reactions in the metabolic engineering of microorganisms. In this review, we compare the advantages and disadvantages of various metabolic analysis methods. We emphasize that metabolic flux analysis based on material balance is a critical method for quantitative investigations into cell metabolism. The absolute determination of metabolite concentration appears to be essential for evaluating the thermodynamic state of metabolism...
September 18, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Pedro A Saa, Lars K Nielsen
Kinetic models are critical to predict the dynamic behaviour of metabolic networks. Mechanistic kinetic models for large networks remain uncommon due to the difficulty of fitting their parameters. Recent modelling frameworks promise new ways to overcome this obstacle while retaining predictive capabilities. In this review, we present an overview of the relevant mathematical frameworks for kinetic formulation, construction and analysis. Starting with kinetic formalisms, we next review statistical methods for parameter inference, as well as recent computational frameworks applied to the construction and analysis of kinetic models...
September 13, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Hsiao-Han Lin, Bak-Sau Yip, Li-Min Huang, Suh-Chin Wu
The growing number of zika virus (ZIKV) infections plus a 20-fold increase in neonatal microcephaly in newborns in Brazil have raised alarms in many countries regarding the threat to pregnant women. Instances of microcephaly and central nervous system malformations continue to increase in ZIKV outbreak regions. ZIKV is a small enveloped positive-strand RNA virus belonging to the Flavivirus genus of the Flaviviridae family. High-resolution ZIKV structures recently identified by cryo-electron microscopy indicate that the overall ZIKV structure is similar to those of other flaviviruses...
September 12, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Loris Fossier Marchan, Kim J Lee Chang, Peter D Nichols, Wilfrid J Mitchell, Jane L Polglase, Tony Gutierrez
Thraustochytrids were first discovered in 1934, and since the 1960's they have been increasingly studied for their beneficial and deleterious effects. This review aims to provide an enhanced understanding of these protists with a particular emphasis on their taxonomy, ecology and biotechnology applications. Over the years, thraustochytrid taxonomy has improved with the development of modern molecular techniques and new biochemical markers, resulting in the isolation and description of new strains. In the present work, the taxonomic history of thraustochytrids is reviewed, while providing an up-to-date classification of these organisms...
September 11, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Lu Zhang, Wen-Hai Xiao, Ying Wang, Ming-Dong Yao, Guo-Zhen Jiang, Bo-Xuan Zeng, Ruo-Si Zhang, Ying-Jin Yuan
Microbial production of monoterpenes is often limited by their cytotoxicity and in vivo conversion. Therefore, alleviating cytotoxicity and reducing conversion by chassis engineering are highly desirable. On the other hand, engineering key enzymes is also critical for improving monoterpenes production through facilitating the biosynthesis process. Here we critically review recent advances in cytotoxicity alleviation, reducing in vivo conversion, selecting geranyl diphosphate synthase and engineering monoterpene synthases...
September 6, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
Martina D'Este, Merlin Alvarado-Morales, Irini Angelidaki
Amino acids are attractive and promising biochemicals with market capacity requirements constantly increasing. Their applicability ranges from animal feed additives, flavour enhancers and ingredients in cosmetic to specialty nutrients in pharmaceutical and medical fields. This review gives an overview of the processes applied for amino acids production and points out the main advantages and disadvantages of each. Due to the advances made in the genetic engineering techniques, the biotechnological processes, and in particular the fermentation with the aid of strains such as Corynebacterium glutamicum or Escherichia coli, play a significant role in the industrial production of amino acids...
September 6, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
A T W M Hendriks, J B van Lier, M K de Kreuk
Fermentation and anaerobic digestion of organic waste and wastewater is broadly studied and applied. Despite widely available results and data for these processes, comparison of the generated results in literature is difficult. Not only due to the used variety of process conditions, but also because of the many different growth media that are used. Composition of growth media can influence biogas production (rates) and lead to process instability during anaerobic digestion. To be able to compare results of the different studies reported, and to ensure nutrient limitation is not influencing observations ascribed to process dynamics and/or reaction kinetics, a standard protocol for creating a defined growth medium for anaerobic digestion and mixed culture fermentation is proposed...
September 1, 2017: Biotechnology Advances
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