Well, it's been more than a month of my research at The University of Tokyo.
Apologizing for the late update, here's the first one.
First, in simple words, I have targeted to prepared the code to modify the green factories. Out of these, 4 have been prepared and under observation as of now whereas, 2 others, being done with a different method, will yield their result by mid of July.
Now, explaining scientifically.
As my project is about modifying the microbes, I need the tools. In this case, genes are used. I have successfully prepared the same for modification of 4 genes as of now and will soon see their effects in the microbial system by chromatography and other structural elucidation methods. Further, 2 gene's modification in underway and will give the results by the mid of July.
Moreover, the construction of genomic library will be done this week which has multiple applications in genomics research.
Soon, I will post some pics too.
At the University of Tokyo, the following figure describes my research best.
My project aims to biologically synthesize novel metabolites and their characterization as better medicines in different fields.
Metabolites are products which play an important role in the various reaction which takes place inside a cell. Moreover, metabolites can be used as antimicrobials, anticancerous, antioxidants, biocatalysts among numerous applications. These metabolites are dependent on the genes of an organism. These genes set up a circuit which is very unique. These circuits are just like the computer programs of the cell, or I should call them green factories. these computer programs can be edited by editing the genes.
How about modifying this circuit?
Modification of these circuits is termed as Genetic engineering or sometimes metabolic engineering. By modification of these genes or the codes, we may achieve novel compounds with exceptional activities. At the University of Tokyo, I am going to try that.
The Global employability research by The Times Higher Education ranks The University of Tokyo as high as 12th in the world. Not surprisingly, being ranked 1st in the Nature Index Japan, the University has been awarded a score of 99.9 on the employer's reputation scale by QS.
Subject wise, The University of Tokyo ranks 27th in Life Sciences and Medicine by QS.
I will be joining the Laboratory of Cell Biotechnology, Biotech Research Centre, The University of Tokyo.
The Laboratory of Cell Biotechnology gives attention to a variety of useful abilities that microorganisms exhibit and performs the research to elucidate underlying universal principles at molecular levels of protein and gene. In addition, the laboratory also conducts application research that creates more useful enzymes and chemical compounds by improving the useful functions artificially using the outcomes from the basic studies. For these purposes, the laboratory uses the most advanced technologies at a great variety of levels: from natural product chemistry dealing with biologically active compounds like amino acids and antibiotics to molecular biology analyzing the regulatory mechanism of gene expression as well as functional and X-ray structural analysis of useful proteins and enzymes.
My guide will be Professor Makoto Nishiyama
Makoto Nishiyama received his B.Sc. (1984), M.Sc. (1986), and Ph.D. (1991) degrees from The University of Tokyo. He was appointed Assistant Professor at The University of Tokyo in 1988 and promoted to Associate Professor in 1994 and to Professor in 2003 at the Biotechnology Research Center, The University of Tokyo. He has been studying structure, function, and regulation of enzymes involved in amino acid biosynthesis.
Scientifically speaking, following is the outline of my project:
I will use gene knockout strategy to target specific gene fragments and analyze their role in the biosynthesis of a new compound being tested by the group. This will involve, characterization of the compound, genetic modification of the gene fragments and enhancing the production.
The major challenge is to identify specific genes. In other words, finding the code in the programs of the green factories, which I must modify to get the better product. I will be modifying the expression of certain genes in Streptomyces to obtain a desired novel compound. Moreover, the characterization using highly sophisticated equipment will be a great challenge.
|Mani Vinay Kumar Kotipalli|