Engineering of microorganisms towards recovery of rare metal ions
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- Kuroda, K. & Ueda, M. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2010) 87: 53. doi:10.1007/s00253-010-2581-8
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The bioadsorption of metal ions using microorganisms is an attractive technology for the recovery of rare metal ions as well as removal of toxic heavy metal ions from aqueous solution. In initial attempts, microorganisms with the ability to accumulate metal ions were isolated from nature and intracellular accumulation was enhanced by the overproduction of metal-binding proteins in the cytoplasm. As an alternative, the cell surface design of microorganisms by cell surface engineering is an emerging strategy for bioadsorption and recovery of metal ions. Cell surface engineering was firstly applied to the construction of a bioadsorbent to adsorb heavy metal ions for bioremediation. Cell surface adsorption of metal ions is rapid and reversible. Therefore, adsorbed metal ions can be easily recovered without cell breakage, and the bioadsorbent can be reused or regenerated. These advantages are suitable for the recovery of rare metal ions. Actually, the cell surface display of a molybdate-binding protein on yeast led to the enhanced adsorption of molybdate, one of the rare metal ions. An additional advantage is that the cell surface display system allows high-throughput screening of protein/peptide libraries owing to the direct evaluation of the displayed protein/peptide without purification and concentration. Therefore, the creation of novel metal-binding protein/peptide and engineering of microorganisms towards the recovery of rare metal ions could be simultaneously achieved.