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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.

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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 January 25, 2015 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 January 25, 2015).

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