Recent developments in synthetic biology enable one-step implementation of entire metabolic pathways in industrial microorganisms. A similarly radical remodelling of central metabolism could greatly accelerate fundamental and applied research, but is impeded by the mosaic organization of microbial genomes. To eliminate this
limitation, we propose and explore the concept of “pathway swapping,” using yeast glycolysis as the experimental model. Construction of a “single-locus glycolysis” Saccharomyces cerevisiae platform enabled quick and easy replacement of this yeast’s entire complement of 26 glycolytic isoenzymes by any alternative, functional glycolytic pathway configuration. The potential of this approach was demonstrated by the construction and characterization of S. cerevisiae strains whose growth depended on two nonnative glycolytic pathways: a complete glycolysis from the related yeast Saccharomyces kudriavzevii and a mosaic glycolysis consisting of yeast and human
enzymes. This work demonstrates the feasibility and potential of modular, combinatorial approaches to engineering and analysis of core cellular processes. (public access) – Niels G. A. Kuijpersa et al., Pathway swapping: Toward modular engineering of essential cellular processes More.
It’s only design when humans do it. Of course, that approach worked better back when these life forms were just blobs (in the 1950s or so).
See also: Things that are easier to explain by design: Cellular reprogramming
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