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Genomics and biochemistry of metabolism

Characterization of orphan metabolites and their biosynthesis routes


Published on 7 December 2018

Despite the accumulation of millions of proteins in the databases, the proportion of those proteins associated, in a reliable manner, with a function remains small. In the Laboratory, we addressed the problem of experimental function assignment at a throughput enabling a response that is at least partial to the continuously increasing number of proteins in the databases (Bastard K. et al., Nat Chem Biol 2014). The metabolites studied are not included in the chemical or metabolic databases or are not linked to current understanding of metabolism.

We are currently developing a new strategy based on exploitation of the biological resources existing for Acinetobacter Baylyi ADP1(complete bank of deletion mutants (de Berardinis, V. et al., 2008);  ORFeome, etc.) and the Laboratory's recent progress in the study of the metabolome. The study derives from a previous thesis for which we studied the changes in the intracellular metabolite content in response to a change in culture conditions. We thus discovered some 50 'new metabolites' or metabolites 'not linked' to our current understanding of ADP1 metabolism (L. Stuani et al., 2014), which represents one of the portals of entry into the still obscure part of bacterial metabolism. With a view to discovering the genes and metabolites involved in the new metabolic pathways, we are using biological resources already developed by the Laboratory working with the bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1 and our skills in genomics, biochemistry and analytical chemistry, in particular through metabolomics.

 Mass spectrometer (Orbitrap Elite, Thermo Fischer) interfaced with an HPLC system (Dionnex Ultimate 3000)