Evolution of UbiX as an efficient alkylphosphate reductase

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

Biological production of hydrocarbons as direct replacement for fossil fuel offers a highly desirable and sustainable solution to the many problems associated with the global oil consumption. In collaboration with a key industrial sponsor in this area, our group seeks to define new routes for the in vivo production of hydrocarbons. We use enzyme discovery, structural biology, enzyme characterisation and protein engineering to construct new pathways that convert primary metabolites into sustainable building blocks. In particular, this project will build upon our recent discovery of two novel enzymes, UbiX and UbiD, part of a wide spread system involved in microbial degradation of aromatic compounds1,2,3. We have since uncovered a wider range of UbiX and UbiD family members, and also established unusual properties for selected UbiX/D mutants that provide new avenues we seek to explore. Research will be mainly carried out at the MIB (www.mib.ac.uk), providing state-of-the art infrastructure for protein biochemistry, enzyme characterization, structural biology and synthetic biology. A three-month placement at the industrial sponor will allow analysis of the various samples for hydrocarbon production in an industrial setting. You will be able to engage with various disciplines, with an emphasis on enzyme characterization (including structural biology/protein crystallography) and evolution, in addition to analytical chemistry, organic chemistry and modeling, providing a multidisciplinary training.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011208/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2113343 Studentship BB/M011208/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Samuel Bloor