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Current Opinion in Biotechnology

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28431259/allosteric-regulation-of-metabolism-in-cancer-endogenous-mechanisms-and-considerations-for-drug-design
#1
REVIEW
Jamie A Macpherson, Dimitrios Anastasiou
Alterations in metabolic processes have been linked to various diseases, including cancer. Although gene expression can dictate long-term metabolic adaptation, many metabolic changes found in cancer are associated with altered allosteric properties of the underlying enzymes. Small molecule-protein interactions and intracellular signalling converge to orchestrate these allosteric mechanisms, which, emerging evidence suggests, constitute a promising therapeutic avenue. In this review we focus on glucose and energy metabolism to illustrate the role of allostery in cancer physiology and we discuss approaches to streamline the process of targeting aberrant allosteric pathways with small molecules...
April 18, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28427011/biosensors-for-the-monitoring-of-harmful-algal-blooms
#2
REVIEW
Daniel A McPartlin, Jonathan H Loftus, Aoife S Crawley, Joe Silke, Caroline S Murphy, Richard J O'Kennedy
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a major global concern due to their propensity to cause environmental damage, healthcare issues and economic losses. In particular, the presence of toxic phytoplankton is a cause for concern. Current HAB monitoring programs often involve laborious laboratory-based analysis at a high cost and with long turnaround times. The latter also hampers the potential to develop accurate and reliable models that can predict HAB occurrence. However, a promising solution for this issue may be in the form of remotely deployed biosensors, which can rapidly and continuously measure algal and toxin levels at the point-of-need (PON), at a low cost...
April 17, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28427010/leveraging-microbial-biosynthetic-pathways-for-the-generation-of-drop-in-biofuels
#3
REVIEW
Amin Zargar, Constance B Bailey, Robert W Haushalter, Christopher B Eiben, Leonard Katz, Jay D Keasling
Advances in retooling microorganisms have enabled bioproduction of 'drop-in' biofuels, fuels that are compatible with existing spark-ignition, compression-ignition, and gas-turbine engines. As the majority of petroleum consumption in the United States consists of gasoline (47%), diesel fuel and heating oil (21%), and jet fuel (8%), 'drop-in' biofuels that replace these petrochemical sources are particularly attractive. In this review, we discuss the application of aldehyde decarbonylases to produce gasoline substitutes from fatty acid products, a recently crystallized reductase that could hydrogenate jet fuel precursors from terpene synthases, and the exquisite control of polyketide synthases to produce biofuels with desired physical properties (e...
April 17, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28427007/novel-and-revisited-approaches-in-antituberculosis-drug-discovery
#4
REVIEW
Jennifer Herrmann, Jan Rybniker, Rolf Müller
The increasing prevalence of multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) necessitates the discovery and development of novel drugs against tuberculosis. In this review, we focus on two recent approaches that led to the discovery of promising antitubercular compound classes: (I) Hits derived from large compound library screens are increasingly difficult to translate into clinical application; this in turn fostered the development of innovative screening methods. (II) An alternative strategy towards high-quality hits and leads is to evaluate chemically diverse scaffolds which can be found among natural products...
April 17, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28419931/applying-the-design-build-test-paradigm-in-microbiome-engineering
#5
REVIEW
Hoang Long Pham, Chun Loong Ho, Adison Wong, Yung Seng Lee, Matthew Wook Chang
The recently discovered roles of human microbiome in health and diseases have inspired research efforts across many disciplines to engineer microbiome for health benefits. In this review, we highlight recent progress in human microbiome research and how modifications to the microbiome could result in implications to human health. Furthermore, we discuss the application of a 'design-build-test' framework to expedite microbiome engineering efforts by reviewing current literature on three key aspects: design principles to engineer the human microbiome, methods to engineer microbiome with desired functions, and analytical techniques to examine complex microbiome samples...
April 15, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28410475/exploring-the-potential-of-saccharomyces-cerevisiae-for-biopharmaceutical-protein-production
#6
REVIEW
Guokun Wang, Mingtao Huang, Jens Nielsen
Production of recombinant proteins by yeast plays a vital role in the biopharmaceutical industry. It is therefore desirable to develop yeast platform strains for over-production of various biopharmaceutical proteins, but this requires fundamental knowledge of the cellular machinery, especially the protein secretory pathway. Integrated analyses of multi-omics datasets can provide comprehensive understanding of cellular function, and can enable systems biology-driven and mathematical model-guided strain engineering...
April 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28399478/quantifying-environmental-and-personal-risks-of-nanotechnology-for-industry
#7
REVIEW
Andrew R Auty
Regulators continue to pursue a comprehensive, generalisable, transparent, reliable, accurate and universally commended injury risk assessment methodology for nanomaterials. After a decade of intensive effort, it emerges that many of the prototype risk metrics are uninformative. This situation has given rise to practical, if non-validated, guidance in the form of control banding recommendations. While informative these are often logically deficient and take no account of risk context as captured in the concept of risk appetite...
April 8, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28399446/enzyme-mediated-tagging-of-rna
#8
REVIEW
Lea Anhäuser, Andrea Rentmeister
RNA molecules can play diverse roles in the cell owing to their secondary structure dynamics and various binding modes. Studying localization and dynamics of RNA in vitro or in cells requires tagging with suitable reporter molecules-fluorophores being the most prominent ones. Enzymatic RNA labeling approaches are currently emerging as valuable alternatives to purely chemical synthesis and to binding- or hybridization-based RNA-imaging approaches. Different classes of enzymes allow for cotranscriptional or posttranscriptional installation of small functional groups in RNA...
April 8, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28395178/fluorescent-labelling-in-living-cells
#9
REVIEW
Anselm Fabian Lowell Schneider, Christian Peter Richard Hackenberger
The labelling of proteins with green fluorescent protein enabled the visualization of proteins in living cells for the first time. Since then, much progress has been made in the field. Modern strategies allow the labelling of proteins in live cells through a range of specialized methods with sophisticated chemical probes that show enhanced photophysical properties compared to fluorescent proteins. This review briefly summarizes recent advances in the field of fluorescent chemical protein labelling inside living cells and illustrates key aspects on the requirements and advantages of each given method...
April 7, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28388486/miniaturized-platform-for-high-throughput-screening-of-stem-cells
#10
REVIEW
Tina Tronser, Anna A Popova, Pavel A Levkin
Over the past decades stem cells have gained great interest in clinical research, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, due to their ability of self-renewal and potential to differentiate into the various cell types of the organism. The long-term maintenance of these unique properties and the control of stem cell differentiation in vitro, however, remains challenging, thus limiting their applicability in these fields. High-throughput screening (HTS) of stem cells is widely used by the researchers in order to gain more insight in the underlying mechanisms of stem cell fate as well as identifying compounds and factors maintaining stemness...
April 4, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28388485/metabolic-systems-modeling-for-cell-factories-improvement
#11
REVIEW
Po-Wei Chen, Matthew K Theisen, James C Liao
Techniques for modeling microbial bioproduction systems have evolved over many decades. Here, we survey recent literature and focus on modeling approaches for improving bioproduction. These techniques from systems biology are based on different methodologies, starting from stoichiometry only to various stoichiometry with kinetics approaches that address different issues in metabolic systems. Techniques to overcome unknown kinetic parameters using random sampling have emerged to address meaningful questions...
April 4, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28388465/synthetic-rna-based-switches-for-mammalian-gene-expression-control
#12
REVIEW
Simon Ausländer, Martin Fussenegger
Synthetic ribonucleic acid (RNA)-based gene switches control RNA functions in a ligand-responsive manner. Key building blocks are aptamers that specifically bind to small molecules or protein ligands. Engineering approaches often combine rational design and high-throughput screening to identify optimal connection sites or sequences. In this report, we discuss basic principles and emerging design strategies for the engineering of RNA-based gene switches in mammalian cells. Their small size compared with those of transcriptional gene switches, together with advancements in design strategies and performance, may bring RNA-based switches to the forefront of biomedical and biotechnological applications...
April 4, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28371651/metals-and-minerals-as-a-biotechnology-feedstock-engineering-biomining-microbiology-for-bioenergy-applications
#13
REVIEW
Indrani Banerjee, Brittany Burrell, Cara Reed, Alan C West, Scott Banta
Developing new feedstocks for the efficient production of biochemicals and biofuels will be a critical challenge as we diversify away from petrochemicals. One possible opportunity is the utilization of sulfide-based minerals in the Earth's crust. Non-photosynthetic chemolithoautotrophic bacteria are starting to be developed to produce biochemicals from CO2 using energy obtained from the oxidation of inorganic feedstocks. Biomining of metals like gold and copper already exploit the native metabolism of these bacteria and these represent perhaps the largest-scale bioprocesses ever developed...
March 31, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28365497/system-level-perturbations-of-cell-metabolism-using-crispr-cas9
#14
REVIEW
Tadas Jakočiūnas, Michael K Jensen, Jay D Keasling
CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats and the associated protein Cas9) techniques have made genome engineering and transcriptional reprogramming studies more advanced and cost-effective. For metabolic engineering purposes, the CRISPR-based tools have been applied to single and multiplex pathway modifications and transcriptional regulations. The effectiveness of these tools allows researchers to implement genome-wide perturbations, test model-guided genome editing strategies, and perform transcriptional reprogramming perturbations in a more advanced manner than previously possible...
March 30, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28365472/bioengineering-towards-self-assembly-of-particulate-vaccines
#15
REVIEW
Bernd H A Rehm
There is an unmet demand for safe and efficient vaccines for prevention of various infectious diseases. Subunit vaccines comprise selected pathogen specific antigens are a safe alternative to whole organism vaccines. However they often lack immunogenicity. Natural and synthetic self-assembling polymers and proteins will be reviewed in view their use to encapsulate and/or display antigens to serve as immunogenic antigen carriers for induction of protective immunity. Recent advances made in in vivo assembly of antigen-displaying polyester inclusions will be a focus...
March 30, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28365471/biosynthetic-pathways-of-aminoglycosides-and-their-engineering
#16
REVIEW
Je Won Park, Yeon Hee Ban, Sang-Jip Nam, Sun-Shin Cha, Yeo Joon Yoon
Despite decades long clinical usage, aminoglycosides still remain a valuable pharmaceutical source for fighting Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, and their newly identified bioactivities are also renewing interest in this old class of antibiotics. As Nature's gift, some aminoglycosides possess natural defensive structural elements that can circumvent drug resistance mechanisms. Thus, a detailed understanding of aminoglycoside biosynthesis will enable us to apply Nature's biosynthetic strategy towards expanding structural diversity in order to produce novel and more robust aminoglycoside analogs...
March 30, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28365404/metabolic-engineering-strategies-to-bio-adipic-acid-production
#17
REVIEW
Nicholas S Kruyer, Pamela Peralta-Yahya
Adipic acid is the most industrially important dicarboxylic acid as it is a key monomer in the synthesis of nylon. Today, adipic acid is obtained via a chemical process that relies on petrochemical precursors and releases large quantities of greenhouse gases. In the last two years, significant progress has been made in engineering microbes for the production of adipic acid and its immediate precursors, muconic acid and glucaric acid. Not only have the microbial substrates expanded beyond glucose and glycerol to include lignin monomers and hemicellulose components, but the number of microbial chassis now goes further than Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae to include microbes proficient in aromatic degradation, cellulose secretion and degradation of multiple carbon sources...
March 30, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28365403/integration-of-heterogeneous-and-biochemical-catalysis-for-production-of-fuels-and-chemicals-from-biomass
#18
REVIEW
Ian Wheeldon, Phillip Christopher, Harvey Blanch
The past decade has seen significant government and private investment in fundamental research and process development for the production of biofuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass-derived sugars. This investment has helped create new metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches, novel homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts, and chemical and biological routes that convert sugars, lignin, and waste products such as glycerol into hydrocarbon fuels and valuable chemicals. With the exception of ethanol, economical biofuels processes have yet to be realized...
March 30, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28346893/biochemical-transformation-of-lignin-for-deriving-valued-commodities-from-lignocellulose
#19
REVIEW
Daniel L Gall, John Ralph, Timothy J Donohue, Daniel R Noguera
The biochemical properties of lignin present major obstacles to deriving societally beneficial entities from lignocellulosic biomass, an abundant and renewable feedstock. Similar to other biopolymers such as polysaccharides, polypeptides, and ribonucleic acids, lignin polymers are derived from multiple types of monomeric units. However, lignin's renowned recalcitrance is largely attributable to its racemic nature and the variety of covalent inter-unit linkages through which its aromatic monomers are linked...
March 24, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28346891/spatial-transcriptomics-paving-the-way-for-tissue-level-systems-biology
#20
REVIEW
Andreas E Moor, Shalev Itzkovitz
The tissues in our bodies are complex systems composed of diverse cell types that often interact in highly structured repeating anatomical units. External gradients of morphogens, directional blood flow, as well as the secretion and absorption of materials by cells generate distinct microenvironments at different tissue coordinates. Such spatial heterogeneity enables optimized function through division of labor among cells. Unraveling the design principles that govern this spatial division of labor requires techniques to quantify the entire transcriptomes of cells while accounting for their spatial coordinates...
March 24, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
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