The supply of a plant-derived anti-cancer drug can finally meet global demand after a team of scientists from Denmark and the U.S. engineered yeast to produce the precursor molecules, which could previously only be obtained in trace concentrations in the native plant. A study describing the breakthrough was recently published in Nature. The international team included four researchers from the Biological Systems and Engineering Division: Leanne Jade G. Chan, Edward Baidoo, Christopher J. Petzold, and Jay D. Keasling.
A team of Berkeley Lab researchers conducted X-ray footprinting mass spectrometry (XFMS) experiments at the Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) to pinpoint how a protein of the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis transfers electrons to a metal oxide substrate. The research was led by Caroline Ajo-Franklin, whose lab is part of the Molecular Foundry and who holds a secondary appointment in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) division, in collaboration with Corie Ralston, also of MBIB. Tatsuya Fukushima, a former postdoc in Ajo-Franklin’s lab, and Sayan Gupta, a member of Ralston’s lab, were co-first authors on the paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The study, which identified an unexpectedly small and weak binding site, also benefitted from expertise and tools contributed by Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) researchers Christopher Petzold and Leanne Jade Chan. Read more at the Berkeley Lab News Center.