The objective of this collaboration is to use computational and experimental tools Caltech has developed for recombination and directed evolution to generate highly active, stable enzymes to be used to breakdown lignocellulosic biomass.
The Taiwanese collaborators have identified several promising new endoglucanases and beta-glucosidases, which will benefit from further improvement using Caltech's methods. In addition, we will be applying the same methods to several industrial 'workhorse' enzymes, for comparison.
We will design libraries of recombined proteins containing many active members. Careful sampling of the recombined enzymes will allow us to build a model of the relationship between stability and sequence. This model will be used to predict the most stable recombinant sequences, which we will then construct and characterize.
We will also work to implement directed evolution methods to improve these enzymes.