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ERIC Number: EJ1134045
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Introducing the Concept of Biocatalysis in the Classroom: The Conversion of Cholesterol to Provitamin D[subscript 3]
De Luca, Belén M.; Nudel, Clara B.; Gonzalez, Rodrigo H.; Nusblat, Alejandro D.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v45 n2 p105-114 Mar-Apr 2017
Biocatalysis is a fundamental concept in biotechnology. The topic integrates knowledge of several disciplines; therefore, it was included in the course "design and optimization of biological systems" which is offered in the biochemistry curricula. We selected the ciliate tetrahymena as an example of a eukaryotic system with potential for the biotransformation of sterol metabolites of industrial interest; in particular, we focused on the conversion of cholesterol to provitamin D[subscript 3]. The students work with wild type and recombinant strains and learn how sterol pathways could be modified to obtain diverse sterol moieties. During the course the students identify and measure the concentration of sterols. They also search for related genes by bioinformatic analysis. Additionally, the students compare biotransformation rates, growing the ciliate in plate and in a bioreactor. Finally, they use fluorescence microscopy to localize an enzyme involved in biotransformation. The last day each team makes an oral presentation, explaining the results obtained and responds to a series of key questions posed by the teachers, which determine the final mark. In our experience, this course enables undergraduate students to become acquainted with the principles of biocatalysis as well as with standard and modern techniques, through a simple and robust laboratory exercise, using a biological system for the conversion of valuable pharmaceutical moieties.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A