(211c) Metabolic Engineering through Evolution | AIChE

(211c) Metabolic Engineering through Evolution


Alper, H. - Presenter, The University of Texas at Austin

The field of Metabolic Engineering has recently undergone a transformation that has led to a rapid expansion of the chemical palate of cells.  The incorporation of tools from synthetic biology and directed evolution has enabled a newfound control of cells.  Now, it is conceivable to produce nearly any organic molecule of interest using a cellular host—from biofuels to biopolymers to pharmaceuticals.  However, these feats require the ability to “hijack” native cellular machinery and metabolism and navigate the complexity inherent in cellular regulation.  In this regard, there is a growing use of directed evolution within the design cycle.  The combination of evolved pathways and synthetic parts with “traditional” metabolic engineering established a blended approach of “metabolic pathway protein engineering”.  This talk highlights how the evolution of small parts, enzymes, pathways, and whole cells can rapidly accomplish metabolic engineering goals.