Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, a model strain of exoelectrogenic bacteria (EEB), plays a key role in environmental bioremediation and bioelectrochemical systems because of its unique respiration capacity. However, only a narrow range of substrates can be utilized by S. oneidensis MR-1 as carbon sources, resulting in its limited applications. In this work, a rapid, highly efficient and easily manipulated base editing system pCBEso was developed by fusing a Cas9 nickase (Cas9n (D10A)) with the cytidine deaminase rAPOBEC1 in S. oneidensis MR-1. The C-to-T conversion of suitable C within the base editing window could be readily and efficiently achieved by the pCBEso system without requiring double strand break or repair templates. Moreover, double-locus simultaneous editing was successfully accomplished with an efficiency of 87.5. With this tool, the roles of the key genes involving in N-acetyl-glucosamine (GlcNAc) or glucose metabolism in S. oneidensis MR-1 were identified. Furthermore, an engineered strain with expanded carbon source utilization spectra was constructed and exhibited a higher degradation rate for multiple organic pollutants (i.e., azo dyes and organoarsenic compounds) than the wild type when glucose or GlcNAc was used as the sole carbon source. Such a base editing system could be readily applied to other EEB. This work not only enhances the substrate utilization and pollutant degradation capacities of S. oneidensis MR-1, but also accelerates the robust construction of engineered strains for environmental bioremediation.
Mussel adhesive proteins (MAPs) have great potential as bioglues, in particular in wet conditions. Although in vivo residue-specific incorporation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (Dopa) in tyrosine-auxotrophic Escherichia coli cells allows production of bioengineered MAPs (bMAPs), the low production yield hinders the practical application of bMAPs. Such low production yield of Dopa-incorporated bMAPs (Dopa-bMAPs) was known to be caused by low translational activity of a noncanonical amino acid, Dopa, in E. coli cells. Herein, in order to enhance the production yield of Dopa-bMAPs, we investigated the coexpression of Dopa-recognizing tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases (TyrRSs). In order to use the Dopa-specific Methanococcus jannascii TyrRS (MjTyrRS-Dopa), we altered the anti-codon of tyrosyl-tRNA amber suppressor into AUA (MjtRNATyrAUA) to recgonize a tyrosine codon (MjtRNATyrAUA). Co-overexpression of MjTyrRS-Dopa and MjtRNATyrAUA increased the production yield of Dopa-MAP by 57%. Similarly, overexpression of E. coli TyrRS (EcTyrRS) led to a 72% higher production yield of Dopa-incorporated bMAP. Even with coexpression of Dopa-recognizing TyrRSs, Dopa-bMAPs have a high Dopa incorporation yield (over 90%) compared to Dopa-bMAPs prepared without any coexpression of TyrRS.
The available pneumococcal conjugate vaccines provide protection against only those serotypes that are included in the vaccine, which leads to a selective pressure and serotype replacement in the population. An alternative low-cost, safe and serotype-independent vaccine was developed based on a non-encapsulated pneumococcus strain. This study evaluates process intensification to improve biomass production and shows for the first time the use of perfusion-batch with cell recycling for a bacterial vaccine production. Batch, fed-batch and perfusion-batch were performed at 10 L scale using a complex animal component-free culture medium. Cells were harvested at the highest optical density, concentrated and washed using microfiltration or centrifugation to compare cell separation methods. Higher biomass was achieved using perfusion-batch, which removes lactate while retaining cells. The biomass produced in perfusion-batch would represent at least 4-fold greater number of doses per cultivation than in the previously described batch process. Each strategy yielded similar vaccines in terms of quality as evaluated by Western blot and animal immunization assays, indicating that, so far, perfusion-batch is the best strategy for the intensification of pneumococcal whole cell vaccine production, since it can be integrated to the cell separation process keeping the same vaccine quality.
3D cell culture has developed rapidly over the past 5-10 years with the goal of better replicating human physiology and tissue complexity in the laboratory. Quantifying cellular responses is fundamental in understanding how cells and tissues respond during their growth cycle and in response to external stimuli. There is a need to develop and validate tools that can give insight into cell number, viability and distribution in real-time, non-destructively and without the use of stains or other labelling processes. Impedance spectroscopy can address all of these challenges and is currently used both commercially and in academic laboratories to measure cellular processes in 2D cell culture systems. However, its use in 3D cultures is not straight forward due to the complexity of the electrical circuit model of 3D tissues. In addition, there are challenges in the design and integration of electrodes within 3D cell culture systems. Researchers have used a range of strategies to implement impedance spectroscopy in 3D systems. This review examines electrode design, integration and outcomes of a range of impedance spectroscopy studies and multi-parametric systems relevant to 3D cell cultures. While these systems provide whole culture data, impedance tomography approaches have shown how this technique can be used to achieve spatial resolution. This review demonstrates how impedance spectroscopy and tomography can be used to provide real-time sensing in 3D cell cultures, but challenges remain in integrating electrodes without affecting cell culture functionality. If these challenges can be addressed and more realistic electrical models for 3D tissues developed, the implementation of impedance-based systems will be able to provide real-time, quantitative tracking of 3D cell culture systems.