Evolution of a Non-natural Carboxylase for Synthetic Photorespiration

Graduate Students Mini-Symposium

  • Date: Aug 13, 2018
  • Time: 02:40 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Marieke Scheffen
  • MPI Marburg, AG Erb
  • Location: MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: IMPRS
  • Contact: imprs@mpi-marburg.mpg.de

RuBisCO is the key enzyme of the Calvin cycle, which is the metabolic pathway for most of the carbon fixed in the biosphere. The enzyme shows a side reaction with oxygen (photorespiration) that leads to the production of a toxic intermediate. We propose a completely synthetic photorespiratory bypass. The so-called Tartronyl-CoA bypass circumvents the loss of nitrogen and the release of CO2, which is a disadvantage in natural photorespiration. We have identified and engineered enzymes that are able to catalyze the required reactions. The key enzyme is a carboxylase that is being engineered towards a reaction with a non-natural substrate.

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