Metabolic engineering

Metabolic engineering is the improvement of cellular activities by manipulation of enzymatic, transport and regulatory functions of the cell with the use of recombinant DNA technology. In order to get the overproduction of the desired metabolite, the metabolic pathways and bioprocesses of the cell are modified by the genetic manipulations in the cell.
The overproduction of metabolite can also be achieved by mutation followed by selection of the improved strains of living organisms exhibiting the desired trait. However, metabolic engineering involves the introduction of heterologous genes and regulatory elements which leads to targeted alterations in normal cellular activities. The process has several components such as biosynthesis of a metabolite, manipulation of protein processing pathways etc.

This field is still in it’s nascent stage and greater efforts are needed to understand the complex interactions of metabolic networks. The limitations existing in the field of metabolic engineering are a challenge for the future chemical engineers working in this exciting field of biotechnology.

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