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Augmentation of Biotech Products

Bioinformatics Approach for Fungal Lovastatin Augmentation

Lovastatin and its analogs are inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, a rate-limiting enzyme of cholesterol biosynthesis and are used to lower elevated cholesterol levels in atherosclerosis. Many fungus producing lovastatin has been identified and particularly Aspergillus terreus is the major one.All conventional methods have been exhausted for enhancing lovastatin productivity and alternative methods such as genetic engineering or the isolation of newer, improved strains are both time-consuming and expensive. Bioinformatics and systems biology-based approaches can be profitably used to augment lovastatin productivity and processivity without incurring any additional infrastructure costs. These approaches may be essentially applied towards:

1. Preferentially eliciting pathways of lovastatin production by using elicitors, and,

2. Selectively inhibiting non-essential pathways - such as those involved in sulochrin production - and redirecting metabolic flow towards lovastatin production.

Bioinformatics is going to help in identification of metabolic pathways to be elicited / inhibited for maximizing lovastatin productivity. The same strategy can be followed for other high cost low volume products also.


K Palani Kannan, TK Subazini, CP Rajadurai, S Naga Vignesh and G Ramesh Kumar (2009) Computational motif signature discovery and validation of gene prediction in Aspergillus terreus NIH 2624. International Journal of Computational Intelligence Research. 2(1),13-19. Link

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