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Identification of genes encoding chaperones in metagenomic databases

Grant number: 18/18296-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2018
Effective date (End): November 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Biology and Physiology of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:María Eugenia Guazzaroni
Grantee:Ninna Hirata Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/04309-1 - Novel approaches to improve functional screening of biocatalysts in metagenomic libraries, AP.JP


Metagenomic allows that the biotechnological potential from bacteria, once considered notcultivable, to be accessible through mining directly DNA sequences recovered from the naturalenvironment (Riesenfeld, et al., 2004). This way, functional metagenomics studies and based insequences studies have demonstrated efficiency in identifying new genes that provides resistance inextreme conditions, enzymes, antibiotics and others bioactive molecules derived from a variety ofconditions (Alves et. al., 2017). In particular, metagenomics approaches take advantage of the geneticpotential of microbes living in extreme environments such as high or low temperatures, salinity,acidity, pressure, radiation or high concentrations of heavy metals (Alves et. al., 2017, Guazzaroni, 2013). Deciphering the microbial diversity and metabolic activities of microorganisms underextreme conditions reveals the biochemical strategies used by them to survive in those conditions.This, in the order hand, can be used to expand the capacity of surviving in bacteria used in industrialsprocesses. A set of families of proteins called molecular chaperones aids in several processesinvolving folding, unfolding, and homeostasis of cellular proteins. After denaturation of the proteincaused by stress (for example, due to exposure to heat or ultraviolet radiation), the proteins can beunfolded, disaggregated and then refolded, or can be targeted for disposal by proteolytic systems(Saibil, 2013). These molecular mechanisms are essential for the cell to overcome the harmful effectsof stress, and thus increase tolerance under adverse growth conditions. Therefore, the present projectaims to mine genes encoding chaperones and other proteins that confer resistance to stress conditions(such as nucleic acid binding proteins) in public databases of metagenomic sequences from extremeenvironments. Thereby, it is intended to identify new genes to be used in future synthetic genecircuits, with potential ability to expand resistance to various stress conditions in bacteria, which arevery useful in biotechnological processes.

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