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Wednesday, 04 July 2018 10:21

SARChI PhD Position

Written by

IMBM 150                UWC 150           Univ Cape Town 150          Structural Biology Research Unit 150


Structural elucidation of a novel OlsB protein


Ornithine acyl-ACP N-acyltransferase (OlsB) is the protein that is required for the first step of ornithine lipid (OL) biosynthesis.  In this step ornithine is N-acylated with a 3-hydroxy-fatty acyl residue in order to obtain lyso-ornithine lipid (LOL).  Both OL and LOL are biosurfactants, and recently the IMBM patented the use of a novel OlsB to heterologously produce these in Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas putida. These biosurfactants have valuable application in a number of products suitable for waste water treatment, agriculture and cosmetics. The aim of the PhD study is to elucidate the structure of this particular OlsB protein and examine the possibility of manipulating the properties of the protein for various commercial applications.


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