Team:Missouri Miners


Adjustable Multi-Enzyme to Cell Surface Anchoring Protein


There are a plethora of enzymes that occur in the natural world which perform reactions that could be immensely useful to humans. Unfortunately, the efficiency of some of these reactions may render their applications logistically unrealistic. The cellulosome scaffolding protein produced by Clostridium thermocellum has been shown to significantly increase the efficiency of cellulose degradation. The scaffolding protein can be reduced in size and adapted for the cell surface of Escherichia coli. Different cohesion sites on the new cell surface display protein can also be introduced to allow for attachment of desired enzymes. Future applications would include producing a collection of distinct versions of the scaffolding protein for unique arrangements and concentrations of enzymes, enabling construction of an extra-cellular assembly line for a variety of multi-enzymatic reactions. This would lay the foundation for making previously infeasible applications of reactions possible through increased efficiency.

Team History

We are the Missouri Miners from Missouri University of Science and Technology. Our team formed in 2007 with just a handful of people working on iGEM projects. Now our team has grown to nearly 30 members working hard and learning new techniques in the lab. Our team is a recognized student organization at S&T and recently became a member of the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center. Involvement in student design teams is a highly respected tradition here on our campus. Our most significant recent accomplishment was forming an extensive lab training program to verse our new members in molecular biology techniques while getting them more familiar with the lab and ready to work on future projects. The lab training program was taught in three sections by five experienced Missouri Miners iGEM student leaders.

Our team is almost completely student-directed with our advisors using a "hands-off" approach. Similar to previous years, this year's project was developed by a student member of our iGEM team. This student-directed project selection and research is one of the most challenging and interesting aspects of our team; our advisors are more than willing to answer students' questions but are not directly involved in project development, project selection, or lab work. It is crucial for our team members to understand the scope and duration of projects from year to year, which allows us to manage the various stages of lab work from start to finish.