Team:UCSF/Split Pathway


Revision as of 05:50, 2 October 2012 by Vzepeda (Talk | contribs)

Violacein: A Path Divided

Today’s industries are increasingly reliant on the biological production of fuels, drugs, and other materials, bacteria among the foremost type of organism used. However bacterial production has its limits; large and complicated molecules impose a heavy metabolic burden on cells, and production is limited by the fitness cost, or the decreased health of the concerned organism.

These limitations can be circumnavigated by mimicking nature: getting two or more organisms to work together to produce one product.One way of doing this is splitting the metabolic pathway between two cells.

One such pathway is the violacein pathway, involving the five enzymes VioA-E. This particular pathway was chosen for our project due to the fact that violacein is a pigment and easily detected.

Violacein is produced in nature by Chromobacterium violaceum and is used commercially as dye, and also has anti-viral and anti-cancer properties. So while we use this for the sake of a model system, violacein production itself has its own merits.

Splitting the Violacein Pathway