Cycloprodigiosin Enzyme Discovery: Searching for the Gene Implicated in the Biosynthesis of a Novel Marine Natural Product

Summer 2016

Parker Stow : Chemical Biology

Mentor: Jay Keasling

Cycloprodigiosin is a novel chemical compound produced by a number of marine bacterial species. One such species of cycloprodigiosin producing bacteria, Pseudoalteromonas rubra or P. rubra, is convenient in that it has had its genome fully sequenced. The gene(s) responsible for the synthesis of cycloprodigiosin from its precursor prodigiosin, however, are yet still unknown and have eluded researchers to date.
In this project I will comb through the P. rubra genomic library in search of the enzyme(s) of interest. Gene knockout studies will validate which enzymes are responsible for the synthesis of cycloprodigiosin and further work could then be conducted to characterize any enzymes of interest.

I would like to thank the Rose Hills Foundation for giving me the opportunity to pursue research on a full time basis this summer. With aspirations to attend graduate school, I find it very important to get acquainted with research and the realm of academia. The academic resources at an LBL lab are overwhelming and I'm humbled by the sheer wealth of knowledge that my peers hold. The resources I will gain this summer will be invaluable to me moving forward and I express my greatest gratitude to the Rose Hills Foundation for making this endeavor feasible for me. Much thanks!