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Boosting 'Mussel' Power: New Technique For Making Key Marine Mussel Protein

Date:
May 8, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Researchers in Korea report development of a way to double production of a sticky protein from marine mussels destined for use as an antibacterial coating to prevent life-threatening infections in medical implants. The coating, produced by genetically-engineered bacteria, could cut medical costs and improve implant safety, the researchers say.

By adding a certain gene to genetically engineered bacteria, researchers have increased production of a sticky protein from mussels that could lead to better, cheaper antibacterial coatings.
Credit: Courtesy of Hyung Joon Cha

Researchers in Korea report development of a way to double production of a sticky protein from marine mussels destined for use as an antibacterial coating to prevent life-threatening infections in medical implants. The coating, produced by genetically-engineered bacteria, could cut medical costs and improve implant safety, the researchers say.

Bacterial infection of medical implants, such as cardiac stents and dialysis tubing, threatens thousands of people each year and is a major medical challenge due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Several research groups are working on long-lasting, germ-fighting coatings from mussel proteins, but production of these coatings is inefficient and expensive.

Hyung Joon Cha and colleagues previously developed a way to use genetically engineered E. coli bacteria to produce mussel adhesive proteins. Now they report adding a new gene for producing Vitreoscilla hemoglobin (VHb), a substance that boosts production of proteins under low-oxygen conditions. Adding the VHb gene to the engineered E. coli doubled the amount of mussel proteins produced, which could lead to more cost-effective coatings, the researchers say.

The article "Enhancement of Mussel Adhesive Protein Production in Escherichia coli by Co-expression of Bacterial Hemoglobin" is scheduled for the June 6 issue of ACS' Biotechnology Progress.


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The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Boosting 'Mussel' Power: New Technique For Making Key Marine Mussel Protein." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080505093416.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, May 8). Boosting 'Mussel' Power: New Technique For Making Key Marine Mussel Protein. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080505093416.htm
American Chemical Society. "Boosting 'Mussel' Power: New Technique For Making Key Marine Mussel Protein." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080505093416.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

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