Immobilization of an industrial enzyme on nanonets derived from a plant virus


Bioengineering cereals crops able to use air as source of N for the biosynthesis of proteins and other molecular components is a grand challenge in Plant Biotechnology. Such progress would be of seminal importance to ensure global Food Security and to protect the environment from the adverse effects of excessive N fertilization. However, a major barrier stands in the way: the enzyme that assimilates atmospheric nitrogen, termed nitrogenase, is only found in some bacteria and shows extreme sensitivity towards oxygen. In this work, we use yeast to demonstrate that nitrogenase Fe protein can be expressed in active form within eukaryotic cells if protected from oxygen by targeting to the mitochondrial matrix.



Original Paper:

López-Torrejón, G; Jiménez-Vicente, E; Buesa, JM; Hernandez, JA; Verma, HK; Rubio, LM. 2016. "Expression of a functional oxygen-labile nitrogenase component in the mitochondrial matrix of aerobically grown yeast". Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11426".