APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Biofuel development
- Industrial enzyme manufacturing
- Enables evaluation of several enzymatic reactions in parallel
- Can be used directly with crude environmental samples
- Potential for rapid parallel analysis with low sample volumes
Trent Northen and colleagues at Berkeley Lab and JBEI have developed a rapid and chemically specific assay for characterization of enzymatic reactions and activities in parallel. The Nanostructure-Initiator Mass Spectrometry (NIMS) based technology operates successfully under a wide range of assay conditions, including crude cell extracts and purified enzymes.
The technology is particularly advantageous for biofuel and enzyme development. Unlike spectrophotometric techniques, it identifies specific chemical composition, which is key to developing enzyme applications as some enzymes cleave in different locations.
The enzymatic hydrolysis of long-chain sugar molecules is a crucial step in the development of lignocellulosic biofuels. For example, identification and characterization of suitable glycohydrolases involved in plant cell wall degradation is dependent on enzyme activity assays. Existing enzymatic assay methods are limited in terms of variability of reaction conditions, sample complexity and especially multiplexity. However, the Berkeley Lab/JBEI technology overcomes these limitations and opens the door to high-throughput applications.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle. Tested to identify and characterize 1) glycohydrolase activities in separate and multiplex enzyme assays and 2) other enzyme activities in crude environmental samples.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Reindl, W., Deng, K., Gladden, J.M., Cheng, G., Wong, A., Singer, S.W., Singh, S., Lee, J.-C., Yao, C.-H., Hazen, T. C., Singh, A.K., Simmons, B.A., Adams, P.D., Northen, T.R. “Colloid-based multiplexed screening for plant biomass-degrading glycoside hydrolase activities in microbial communities,” Energy & Environmental Science, 2011, 4, 2884-2893.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
REFERENCE NUMBER: EJIB-2926