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Creators/Authors contains: "Siegel, Justin B."

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  1. Abstract

    Noncanonical cofactor biomimetics (NCBs) such as nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN+) provide enhanced scalability for biomanufacturing. However, engineering enzymes to accept NCBs is difficult. Here, we establish a growth selection platform to evolve enzymes to utilize NMN+-based reducing power. This is based on an orthogonal, NMN+-dependent glycolytic pathway inEscherichia coliwhich can be coupled to any reciprocal enzyme to recycle the ensuing reduced NMN+. With a throughput of >106variants per iteration, the growth selection discovers aLactobacillus pentosusNADH oxidase variant with ~10-fold increase in NMNH catalytic efficiency and enhanced activity for other NCBs. Molecular modeling and experimental validation suggest that instead of directly contacting NCBs, the mutations optimize the enzyme’s global conformational dynamics to resemble the WT with the native cofactor bound. Restoring the enzyme’s access to catalytically competent conformation states via deep navigation of protein sequence space with high-throughput evolution provides a universal route to engineer NCB-dependent enzymes.

  2. Abstract

    Noncanonical redox cofactors are attractive low-cost alternatives to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (phosphate) (NAD(P)+) in biotransformation. However, engineering enzymes to utilize them is challenging. Here, we present a high-throughput directed evolution platform which couples cell growth to the in vivo cycling of a noncanonical cofactor, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN+). We achieve this by engineering the life-essential glutathione reductase inEscherichia colito exclusively rely on the reduced NMN+(NMNH). Using this system, we develop a phosphite dehydrogenase (PTDH) to cycle NMN+with ~147-fold improved catalytic efficiency, which translates to an industrially viable total turnover number of ~45,000 in cell-free biotransformation without requiring high cofactor concentrations. Moreover, the PTDH variants also exhibit improved activity with another structurally deviant noncanonical cofactor, 1-benzylnicotinamide (BNA+), showcasing their broad applications. Structural modeling prediction reveals a general design principle where the mutations and the smaller, noncanonical cofactors together mimic the steric interactions of the larger, natural cofactors NAD(P)+.

  3. Interest in animal cell-based meat (ACBM) or laboratory-grown meat has been increasing; however, the economic viability of these potential products has not been thoroughly vetted. Recent studies suggest monoclonal antibody production technology can be adapted for the industrialization of ACBM production. This study provides a scenario-based assessment of the projected cost per kilogram of ACBM produced in the United States based on cellular metabolic requirements and process/chemical engineering conventions. A sensitivity analysis of the model identified the nine most influential cost factors for ACBM production out of 67 initial parameters. The results indicate that technological performance will need to approach technical limits for ACBM to achieve profitably as a commodity. However, the model also suggests that low-volume high-value specialty products could be viable based on current technology.
  4. ABSTRACT Biomolecular structure drives function, and computational capabilities have progressed such that the prediction and computational design of biomolecular structures is increasingly feasible. Because computational biophysics attracts students from many different backgrounds and with different levels of resources, teaching the subject can be challenging. One strategy to teach diverse learners is with interactive multimedia material that promotes self-paced, active learning. We have created a hands-on education strategy with a set of 16 modules that teach topics in biomolecular structure and design, from fundamentals of conformational sampling and energy evaluation to applications, such as protein docking, antibody design, and RNA structure prediction. Our modules are based on PyRosetta, a Python library that encapsulates all computational modules and methods in the Rosetta software package. The workshop-style modules are implemented as Jupyter Notebooks that can be executed in the Google Colaboratory, allowing learners access with just a Web browser. The digital format of Jupyter Notebooks allows us to embed images, molecular visualization movies, and interactive coding exercises. This multimodal approach may better reach students from different disciplines and experience levels, as well as attract more researchers from smaller labs and cognate backgrounds to leverage PyRosetta in science and engineering research. All materials aremore »freely available at« less
  5. Abstract Each year vast international resources are wasted on irreproducible research. The scientific community has been slow to adopt standard software engineering practices, despite the increases in high-dimensional data, complexities of workflows, and computational environments. Here we show how scientific software applications can be created in a reproducible manner when simple design goals for reproducibility are met. We describe the implementation of a test server framework and 40 scientific benchmarks, covering numerous applications in Rosetta bio-macromolecular modeling. High performance computing cluster integration allows these benchmarks to run continuously and automatically. Detailed protocol captures are useful for developers and users of Rosetta and other macromolecular modeling tools. The framework and design concepts presented here are valuable for developers and users of any type of scientific software and for the scientific community to create reproducible methods. Specific examples highlight the utility of this framework, and the comprehensive documentation illustrates the ease of adding new tests in a matter of hours.
  6. Abstract Summary

    Foldit Standalone is an interactive graphical interface to the Rosetta molecular modeling package. In contrast to most command-line or batch interactions with Rosetta, Foldit Standalone is designed to allow easy, real-time, direct manipulation of protein structures, while also giving access to the extensive power of Rosetta computations. Derived from the user interface of the scientific discovery game Foldit (itself based on Rosetta), Foldit Standalone has added more advanced features and removed the competitive game elements. Foldit Standalone was built from the ground up with a custom rendering and event engine, configurable visualizations and interactions driven by Rosetta. Foldit Standalone contains, among other features: electron density and contact map visualizations, multiple sequence alignment tools for template-based modeling, rigid body transformation controls, RosettaScripts support and an embedded Lua interpreter.

    Availability and Implementation

    Foldit Standalone is available for download at, under the Rosetta license, which is free for academic and non-profit users. It is implemented in cross-platform C ++ and binary executables are available for Windows, macOS and Linux.