Exploring new regions of the microbial degradome using bioinformatics and metagenomics
Department of Biology
University of Waterloo
Bacterial proteases play key roles in virulence, colonization and degradation of biological tissues and have important scientific and industrial applications as therapeutic enzymes. Despite their scientific and industrial value, there are thousands of unexplored microbial proteolytic enzymes that can be identified in bacterial genomes and metagenomes with potentially new activities and applications. In this talk, I will discuss our work on the computational and experimental characterization of novel proteases and degradation mechanisms of pathogenic and saprophytic microbes. Through genomic data mining, we have identified new families of biomedically important proteolytic enzymes such as botulinum neurotoxins and collagenases, and identified unexpected proteolytic activity in new cellular structures such as bacterial flagella. Using microbiological, biochemical and proteomic techniques we have performed high--‐throughput characterization of substrate specificity and investigated the biological function of new protease families in key species of interest such as Clostridium haemoly0cum and Pseudoalteromonas tunicata. Finally, through metagenomic sequencing of decomposing animal tissue, we are exploring new decomposer species, genomes and proteases and the role of community--‐level interactions in proteolytic degradation. Ultimately, the combination of bioinformatic, metagenomic, and molecular biological methods is a powerful strategy to find and characterize new regions of the microbial degradome with potential scientific and biomedical applications.
Join us for refreshments in the MBB atrium at 3:45 PM before the seminar.
Host: Geetu Tuteja (email@example.com)