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RESEARCH PROFILE

Dr. Thanyaporn Wongnate

School of Biomolecular Science & Engineering (BSE)
Tel. +66 (0) 33 01 4203
Email thanyaporn.w@vistec.ac.th

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Synthetic Biology for CO2 Utilization

 

Research Overview

CO 2 emitted from industrial and household processes is a major contributor to global warming and climate change. The development of biological systems to harness and use carbon source from CO 2 is a sustainable and powerful tool to combat global warming. At the same time, it is economically viable because CO 2 can be used to make useful biofuels and biochemicals. We aim to use synthetic biology approach to engineer microbes that can use CO 2 as a carbon source and turn it to produce useful biofuels and biochemicals.

Synthetic biology for co 2 Utilization At vistec

Our research team at VISTEC aims to use state-of-the-art technologies in the areas of enzyme and metabolic engineering, pathway design, metabolomics and cell factories to engineer microbes to fix CO 2 into metabolites that can be assimilated inside cells. Our experience in one-carbon metabolic enzymes is instrumental in putting together pathways for artificial CO 2 -fixation.

The first enzyme that we will use to sequestrate CO 2 is formate dehydrogenase (FDH). FDH catalyzes the oxidation of formate to yield CO 2 and also catalyzes a reverse reaction that is reduction of CO 2 . The reverse reaction of FDH is key to converting CO 2 into formate, which can be further used by microbes to produce valuable chemicals. FDH is found in bacteria, archaea and yeast, and can be divided into two major classes based on metal content, structure and catalytic strategies. Our studies focus on FDH that contains metals.

Methane is another greenhouse gas that is more potent than CO 2 in creating environmental damage. However, it is a major component of natural gas and biogas and also an important fuel. Understanding the ability to control methane production will allow scientists to develop innovative approaches for generating sustainable biofuels. In nature, methane is produced by microbes called methanogens. These microbes play an important role in biomass degradation. The rate-limiting and final step in methanogenesis is catalyzed by the methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR). MCR catalyzes the conversion of methyl-coenzyme M and Coenzyme B to methane and the CoBS-SCoM. MCR also catalyzes the first step in anaerobic methane oxidation.
 

Selected Publications

  • Ragsdale, S.W., Raugei, S., Ginovska, B., Wongnate, T., The Royal Society of Chemistry 2017; Chpt. 8: 149-169.
  • Wongnate, T., Sliwa, D., Ginovska, B., Smith, D., Wolf, M.W., Lehnert, N., Raugei, S., Ragsdale, S.W. Science 2016; 352: 953-958.
  • Wongnate, T., Ragsdale, S.W. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2015; 290: 9322-9334.
  • Wongnate, T., Surawatanawong, P., Visitsattawong, S., Sucharitakul, J., Scrutton, N., Chaiyen, P. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2014; 136: 241-253.
  • Wongnate, T., Chaiyen, P. FEBS Journal 2013; 280: 3009-3027.
  • Wongnate, T., Sucharitakul, J., Chaiyen, P. ChemBioChem. 2011; 12: 2577-2586.
  • Sucharitakul, J., Wongnate, T., Chaiyen, P. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2011; 286: 16900-16909.
  • Sucharitakul, J., Wongnate, T., Chaiyen, P. Biochemistry. 2010; 49: 3753-3765.
  • Prongjit, M., Sucharitakul, J., Wongnate, T., Haltrich, D., Chaiyen, P. Biochemistry. 2009; 48: 4170-4180.
 

Research Group Members:

Dr. Pimchai Chaiyen (Professor)
Dr. Thanyaporn Wongnate (Lecturer)
Dr. Panu Pimviriyakul
(Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Ms. Kanokwan Yansakon (Research Assistant)
Ms. Pattarawan Intasian
Ms. Vinutsada Pongsupasa
Mr. Kridsadakorn Prakinee
Ms. Supacha Buttranon
Ms. Pangrum Punthong
Ms. Kittiya Sakdaphetsiri
Mr. Nattanon Akeratchatapan
Ms. Nuttanun Kutrakul
Mr. Thana Thaweeskulchai
Ms. Jittima Phonbuppha
Mr. Pratchaya Watthaisong
 

Collaborators:

Assistant Prof. Dr. Ruchanok Tinikul
Mahidol University
Dr. Somchart Maenpuen
Burapha University
Dr. Juthamas Jaroensuk (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Dr. Pirom Chenprakhon
Mahidol University