Pathway engineering

Pathway engineering involves the deletion, replacement, or adjustment of the expression of one or more genes in a pathway to make a product. This can be used to increase the productivity of a process or generate new products.

Isomerase has metabolic pathway engineering technologies available which enable the manipulation of cellular metabolic engineering processes to generate new microbial strains which generate products by direct fermentation.

This includes pathway engineering tools and proprietary methods for the inactivation of genes or expression of one or more genes, in silico metabolic analysis expertise, and fermentation process development. 

These tools and methods can be used to manipulate a wide variety of microbial strains, from either the proprietary Isomerase strain collection or public and available patent strains, to generate cell-based processes for producing products of interest.

Contact us for more information or to request a quote.

Metabolic engineering process

The main objective of metabolic engineering is to increase target metabolite production in your genetic engineering processes. Metabolic engineering is essentially optimizing genetic and regulatory processes within cells to increase the production of a certain substance.

At Isomerase the ultimate goal of metabolic engineering is to be able to use organisms to produce valuable substances on an industrial scale in a cost-effective manner. Some examples include producing pharmaceuticals as well as other biotechnology products.

Since cells use these metabolic networks for their survival, changes can have drastic effects on the cell's viability, so the trade-offs in metabolic engineering arise between the cell's ability to produce the substance and its natural survival needs.

In order to increase the productivity of a desired metabolite in the past, a chemically induced mutation genetically modified a microorganism, and the mutant strain that over expressed the desired metabolite was then chosen. However, a new technique called metabolic engineering emerged in the 1990s. This technique essentially analyses the metabolic pathway of a microorganism and then determines the constraints and their effects on the production of desired compounds.

Metabolic engineering continues to evolve in efficiency and processes, aided by breakthroughs in the field of synthetic biology and in understanding metabolite damage and its repair or preemption. Researchers in synthetic biology optimize genetic pathways, which then influence cellular metabolic outputs. Recent decreases in the cost of synthesized DNA and development in genetic circuits help to influence the ability of metabolic engineering to produce the desired outcome. 

Can pathway engineering play a role in disease treatment?

Pathway and Metabolic engineering aim to contrive microbes as biocatalysts for enhanced and cost-effective production of secondary metabolites. Secondary Metabolites can be treated as the resources of industrial chemicals, fuels, and pharmaceuticals.

Another way pathway engineering can help in disease treatment is by modifying the metabolic pathways responsible for producing compounds that are therapeutic for a particular disease. For example, by engineering the metabolic pathway responsible for producing insulin, we can create cells that can produce insulin and can also potentially be used to treat diabetes.

Metabolic engineering can also be used for producing vaccines, by creating cells that can produce the proteins or other molecules that are used in the vaccine. The process can also be used to produce antibiotics by engineering microorganisms to produce novel compounds with antibiotic properties.

However, the metabolic engineering process can also be used to produce enzymes that can break down toxins in the environment by engineering microorganisms to produce the enzymes, for example, some bacteria produce enzymes that can break down toxic chemicals like benzene and toluene.

Are metabolic pathways reversible?

Metabolic Pathways can be reversible or irreversible, depending on the specific reaction. Some metabolic pathways can be reversed by using different enzymes to catalyze the reaction in the opposite direction. However, some metabolic pathways are irreversible due to thermodynamic constraints, meaning that they require a large input of energy to be reversed.

The Krebs cycle is considered an irreversible metabolic pathway due to the thermodynamic constraints of certain reactions in the pathway. However, some of the reactions in the Krebs cycle are reversible under certain conditions, such as the conversion of fumarate to palate.  This reaction is reversible in the presence of an enzyme called fumarate, which can catalyze the reaction in either direction, depending on the concentration of reactants and products.

While the Krebs cycle as a whole is considered irreversible, there are some reversible reactions within the pathway that can be used for metabolic engineering applications. For example, the cycle can be used to produce amino acids, which are important building blocks for many industrial products, such as plastics, textiles, and pharmaceuticals.

By engineering microorganisms to produce these compounds using the citric acid cycle, we can ultimately create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way to produce industrial chemicals.

Example projects:    

  • Deletion of genes - Coding for processing genes such as glycosyltransferases, P450 hydroxylases or methyltransferases, to make desglycosyl, deshydroxyl, or desmethyl products.      
  • Heterologous pathway expression - Pathways coding for the generation of a glycosyl unit, along with a glycosyltransferase to transfer the activated sugar to a final product.
  • Manipulation of primary metabolism - To shunt amino acid or glucose metabolism to produce a small molecule compound of interest.

Why choose Isomerase for pathway engineering?

If you are looking for a world-leading integrated biotechnology service provider, then we have you covered. Isomerase are specialists in Chemistry, Bioinformatics, and strain bioengineering, and are considered one of the best in the biotechnology industry due to our innovative platform technology.

We provide many different types of products and services such as compounds, microbial strains, and peptides. We also have a team of experienced scientists and researchers who are dedicated around the clock to discovering and developing new treatments for a variety of diseases.

Contact us for more information about our metabolic pathway engineering services and or request a quote from us today.

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