Patrick C. Cirino

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BACKGROUND Escherichia coli exhibits diauxic growth in sugar mixtures due to CRP-mediated catabolite repression and inducer exclusion related to phosphotransferase system enzyme activity. Replacement of the native crp gene with a catabolite repression mutant (referred to as crp*) enables co-utilization of glucose and other sugars in E. coli. While previous(More)
For heterotrophic microbes, limited availability of carbon and energy sources is one of the major nutritional factors restricting the rate of growth in most ecosystems. Physiological adaptation to this hunger state requires metabolic versatility which usually involves expression of a wide range of different catabolic pathways and of high-affinity carbon(More)
Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and the ability of the neurotoxin methylmercury to biomagnify in the food chain is a serious concern for both public and environmental health globally. Because thousands of tons of mercury are released into the environment each year, remediation strategies are urgently needed and prompted this study. To facilitate(More)
Presence of cellobiose as a sole carbon source induces mutations in the chb and asc operons of Escherichia coli and allows it to grow on cellobiose. We previously engineered these two operons with synthetic constitutive promoters and achieved efficient cellobiose metabolism through adaptive evolution. In this study, we characterized two mutations observed(More)
Inducible expression systems are widely employed for the titratable control of gene expression, yet molecules inadvertently present in the growth medium or synthesized by the host cells can alter the response profile of some of these systems. Here, we explored the quantitative impact of these residual inducers on the apparent response properties of(More)
In bioelectrochemical systems, the electrode potential is an important parameter affecting the electron flow between electrodes and microbes and microbial metabolic activities. Here, we investigated the metabolic characteristics of a glucose-utilizing strain of engineered Shewanella oneidensis under electrode-respiring conditions in electrochemical reactors(More)
Reporter gene systems are useful for studying bacterial molecular biology, including the regulation of gene expression and the histochemical analysis of protein products. Here, two genes, β-1,4-mannanase (manB) from Bacillus pumilus and β-glucuronidase (gusA) from Escherichia coli K12, were cloned into the expression vector pELX1. The expression patterns of(More)
The identification and engineering of proteins having refined or novel characteristics is an important area of research in many scientific fields. Protein modelling has enabled the rational design of unique proteins, but high-throughput screening of large libraries is still required to identify proteins with potentially valuable properties. Here we report(More)
The fast adaptation of Escherichia coli to stressful environments includes the regulation of gene expression rates, mainly of transcription, by specific and global stress-response mechanisms. To study the effects of mechanisms acting on a global level, we observed with single molecule sensitivity the effects of mild acidic shift and oxidative stress on the(More)
OptZyme is a new computational procedure for designing improved enzymatic activity (i.e., kcat or kcat/KM) with a novel substrate. The key concept is to use transition state analogue compounds, which are known for many reactions, as proxies for the typically unknown transition state structures. Mutations that minimize the interaction energy of the enzyme(More)