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meta-GRASP Enzyme Technology

meta-GRASP™ - metaGenomics-based Related Activity Screening Protocol

Significance of Metagenomics to Biocatalysis Enzyme Discovery:  Perpetual advancements in DNA sequencing technology now enable complex microbial communities to be rapidly and inexpensively assessed, via metagenomic analyses, towards the identification and exploitation of novel biocatalysis enzymes.


Choice: Genomics or Metagenomics Derived Biocatalysts?:  The transition from near absolute reliance on traditional methods of biocatalyst discovery to advanced genomics-enabled technologies was a keenly awaited enabling-step, now exploited as first weapon of choice by most users of enzymes.  Indeed, for some time now the pace of genome sequencing has been such that new enzyme encoding genes are being discovered at a faster pace than it is possible to study and evaluate them using traditional cloning and biochemical analysis protocols.  Such mounting opportunity led Prozomix to develop requisite advanced cloning / characterisation technology some years ago (GRASP - see here for details), leading to the development of the very effective biocatalysis enzyme panels currently offered.  However, while the enzyme discovery community as a whole struggles to keep up with the pace and opportunities as revealed by genomics, a further technology with even greater novel biocatalyst discovery potential has been born - metagenomics!  To date this technology has only being available to academic research groups, but through their hard work and falling DNA sequencing costs, metagenomics can now be exploited much more generally.


As mentioned above, the pace of genomics means not all enzymes of potential interest are currently being evaluated for biocatalytic applications.  Why if this is the case then, should we contemplate investing in yet a further technology, still somewhat in its infancy, such as metagenomics, that itself generates such incredibly large datasets that current methodology will also fail to evaluate all potentially interesting biocatalysts?  The answer lies in application of prior knowledge in conjunction with advanced in silico screening methodologies that can be applied to efficiently filter through all of the DNA sequence information generated to yield much smaller / focused libraries of carefully selected genes.  Prozomix has such proprietary bioinformatics approaches, optimised through years of high-throughput genome mining, that it is now seamlessly applying to unique metagenome data derived from 57 carefully selected environmental samples collected by the company in various locations in Europe (examples of which to the left, and above, and screening of novel bacteria from which under).meta_GRASP_agar_plate.jpg

Advantages of Metagenomics Derived Biocatalysis Enzymes from Prozomix:  Biocatalysis enzymes derived from commercial in-house metagenome analyses have significant advantages compared to their genomics-based counterparts:

(i) meta-GRASP enzymes are available exclusively from Prozomix, meaning they will not be represented in the public-facing genomics or metagenomics databases, and thus (fundamentally) very unlikely to be members of competitor enzyme panels.

(ii) The meta-GRASP enzyme panels available from Prozomix have additional diversity represented in them from what is available from public genome / metagenome data, given the enzymes are rejected for further development if similar ones are present elsewhere.

(iii) The meta-GRASP enzymes selected by customers will also benefit from increased ease of IP protection, as the enzymes in question are very unlikely to have very similar primary sequences compared to those patented to date.

(iv) The meta-GRASP enzymes also further benefit from increased process security, as common reverse-engineering approaches will fail to identify an exact, or generally even a close hit. 

For further information about Prozomix meta-GRASP panels, please contact sales@prozomix.com, or click on a link below:

GRASP high-throughput genome-mining technology