Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Enzymes which facilitate the industrial use and application of starch

16.01.2003


The cosmetic, textile, and food industries and even the construction industry use starch, the main energy reserve of plants, as a biodegradable and renewable substance for a variety of applications. To get to know the metabolism of this carbohydrate better and thus facilitate its industrial use and application, Milagros Rodríguez López proposed, in her PhD thesis, the identifying and isolating of the enzyme (or enzymes) responsible for the degradation activity of the precursor molecule for starch: ADP glucose.

This PhD work was directed by Francisco Javier Pozueta Romero at the Institute of Agrobiotechnology and Natural Resources (IARN), a centre of investigation jointly run by Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Council for University Scientific Research), the Navarre Government and Navarre Public University.

Considerable quantity of starch in plants



Currently, practically all of industry uses starch and/or its derivatives in some way or another. Starch is used, amongst other things, for the manufacture of biodegradable photographic films, in adhesives, packing materials, detergents, paints and plastics; medical care products, shampoos, creams and lotions, cleansing products and cosmetics; or in the food and drinks industries for producing thickening agents which enhance the uniformity, stability and consistency of foodstuffs.

The widespread use of starch in industry explains the numerous research projects being carried out in order to better understand the biosynthesis process of the carbohydrate in plants and of its equivalent in bacteria: glycogen. However, although many studies have been carried out on starch is formed, what substances impede its synthesis have not been investigated in any depth.

Barley leaves

The conclusion of this doctoral thesis is that, both the accumulation of starch in plants and of glycogen in bacteria is highly determined by the enzymatic activities that synthesise ADP glucose and by those that degrade it. Moreover, in the opinion of Milagros Rodríguez López, ADP glucose is not just a precursor molecule for glycogen and starch, but plays a versatile role at the point of diversification of several metabolic routes.

The authoress’ research has identified two proteins as being possibly responsible for the breaking down of ADP glucose and which, thus, on the breaking up of the ADP glucose molecule, impede the formation of starch in plants. Professor Milagros Rodríguez chose to do the tests on barley leaves as it is in this tissue that enzymatic activity is highest.
The objective then was to isolate the enzyme or enzymes responsible for this enzymatic activity.

In order to carry this out, various techniques were used such as ultracentrifuging or precipitation with ammonium sulphate in order to isolate enzyme or enzymes responsible. According to the results, there are a number of isoforms responsible for the hydrolysis of ADP glucose in the higher plants, which impede the biosynthesis of starch.

As a result of this research, two enzymes have been identified as being possibly responsible for the enzymatic activity: NPP1 (Nucleotide Phosphatase Phosphodiesterase 1) and NPP2 (Nucleotide Phosphatase Phosphodiesterase 2). Subsequently, molecular biology work was carried. Thus the gene sequences were identified and a way of confirming whether these proteins were really responsible for the enzymatic activity or not.

Iñaki Casado Redin | BasqueResearch
Further information:
http://www.unavarra.es

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>