Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New technology for enzyme design

01.06.2018

Scientists at the University of Würzburg have chemically modified the enzyme levansucrase using a new method. The enzyme can now produce sugar polymers that are exciting for applications in the food industry and medicine.

Enzymes are tools of nature that accelerate almost all biochemical reactions in living cells as biological catalysts. For this reason, enzymes have been used in the chemical industry for some time now - in detergents and cleaners, toothpastes and shampoos, but also in foods. Enzymes help in the production of paper, textiles, leather, medicines, biofuels and other products.


The surface of the enzyme levansucrase has been redesigned to produce sugar polymers.

(Picture: AK Seibel)

Enzymes from the tailoring industry

Biochemically, enzymes are proteins that are composed of natural amino acids. They form a three-dimensional structure. Just like a key fits into a lock, each specific molecule fits into an enzyme and the enzyme converts it into a new product.

Technically, it is possible to exchange individual amino acids in an enzyme and thereby change its structure so that it can now process other molecules. In this way, British scientists have created just recently a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic.

Surface of the levansucrase changed

Chemists from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany, have now gone a step further in the tailoring of enzymes: "We thought what fascinating possibilities would arise if we could change the surface of enzymes chemically and use the chemical space of molecules," says Jürgen Seibel , Professor of Organic Chemistry at the JMU. "We have developed a reaction that does not occur in nature in this way. It gives us a lot of freedom in reshaping enzyme surfaces. "

As the JMU scientists report in the journal "Chemical Science", they first redesigned the surface of the enzyme levansucrase. Now, the enzyme can convert the table sugar (sucrose) directly into a polymer of fructose building blocks.

"So far, such a synthesis has been possible with levansucrase, but it works much more efficiently with the modified enzyme," explains Seibel. The conversion of the enzyme per second is now significantly higher; moreover, it mainly produces the desired product and no accidental by-products.

Interesting for medicine and food industry

The fructose polymer could be used as a bio-gel for tissue transplantation in medicine or in the food industry – for example as a probiotic supplement in yogurts or baby food. Because like other functional sugars, the polymer could also serve certain intestinal bacteria as food and indirectly exert a health-promoting influence on the intestinal flora of humans.

“Product-Oriented Chemical Surface Modification of a Levansucrase (SacB) via an Ene-type Reaction”, Maria Elena Ortiz-Soto, Julia Ertl, Jürgen Mut, Juliane Adelmann, Thien Anh Le, Junwen Shan, Jörg Teßmar, Andreas Schlosser, Bernd Engels, Jürgen Seibel. Chemical Science 2018 Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C8SC01244J

Contact

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Seibel, Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Würzburg, T +49 931 31-85326, seibel@chemie.uni-wuerzburg.de

Dr. Maria Ortiz-Soto, Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Würzburg, T +49 931 3- 88733, ortiz.soto@uni-wuerzburg.de

Robert Emmerich | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Further information:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>