Gene Engineering of Yeast for the Degradation of Hazardous Wastes
We have installed a program to develop cytochrome P-450 systems in Sacchromyces cerevisiae for the degradation of organic wastes. Emphasis will be upon polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons having no adjacent carbon atoms free of substitution, including hexachloro-benzene (HCB), polychlorinated biphenyls, and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodi-benzo-p-dioxin, TCDD. These toxic compounds are persistent in the environment and are potent inducers of P-450 systems in animal cells. Both HCB and TCDD can be metabolized by P-450 enzymes to yield less toxic products. The long range goal is to transfer these metabolic capacities from animal cells via genetic engineering into yeast. These yeasts will then be tested for use in polluted mixtures.