NUSBLAT alejandro David
Introducing the concept of biocatalysis in the classroom: the conversion of cholesterol to provitamin D3
MARIA BELEN DE LUCA; B.C. NUDEL; RODRIGO H GONZÁLEZ; A. D. NUSBLAT
BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY EDUCATION
JOHN WILEY & SONS INC
Lugar: New York; Año: 2016
Biocatalysisis a fundamental concept in biotechnology. The topic integrates knowledge ofseveral disciplines; therefore, it was included in the course ?Design andoptimization of biological systems? which is offered in the Biochemistrycurricula.We selectedthe ciliate Tetrahymena asan example of a eukaryotic system with potential for the biotransformation of sterolmetabolites of industrial interest; in particular, we focused on the conversionof cholesterol to provitamin D3.Thestudents work with wild type and recombinant strains and learn how sterolpathways could be modified to obtain diverse sterol moieties. During the coursethe students identify and measure the concentration of sterols. They alsosearch for related genes by bioinformatic analysis. Additionally, the studentscompare biotransformation rates, growing the ciliate in plate and in a bioreactor.Finally, they use fluorescence microscopy to localize an enzyme involved inbiotransformation. The last day each team makes an oral presentation,explaining the results obtained and responds to a series of key questions posedby the teachers, which determine the final mark. .In our experience, this course enables undergraduate studentsto become acquainted with the principles of biocatalysis as well as with standardand modern techniques, through a simple and robust laboratory exercise, using abiological system for the conversion of valuable pharmaceutical moieties.