Designing a thermostable cellobiohydrolase: a novel approach to sustainable ethanol production

Sagarika Samavedi, Washington, USA 16-18

Renewable energy sources, particularly biofuels, are necessary in the future to counter the use of fossil fuels and reduce the threats of global warming. Cellulose is ubiquitous in nature, and can be used as a potential feedstock to make ethanol. However, the enzymes used to break down cellulose, such as cellobiohydrolase, works at a rate that is too slow for large-scale commercial purposes. I designed a thermostable version of cellobiohydrolase that can resist denaturation at higher temperatures and therefore catalyze faster. I used protein modeling software, machine learning, multiple sequence alignment analysis, and bioinformatic procedures to design the enzyme.

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