Facebook PixelDeinococcus radiodurans engineered to take the place of an intracellular organelle in charge of DNA integrity
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Deinococcus radiodurans engineered to take the place of an intracellular organelle in charge of DNA integrity

Image credit: EMSL

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 14, 2020
According to endosymbiotic theory , mitochondria were once free-living bacteria that got ingested but not metabolized by the host cell.

I don't know what it would take to repeat this with Deinococcus radiodurans but the idea proposed here is that D. radiodurans be engineered to take the place of an organelle that safeguards the host cell's DNA and keep it error-free despite what nature throws at it.

Deinococcus radiodurans is amazing at protecting its DNA from anything that would damage it. It's one of the most radiation-resistant organisms known to us. It keeps several copies of its genome. Even if several are shredded to pieces, if just one copy remains unchanged, it can survive and restore itself. D. radiodurans also has extremely efficient DNA repair mechanisms.

What would it take for this to work?

Would it be easier to just take the necessary genes from D. radiodurans and make the cell's nuclear DNA as efficient in error prevention?


[2]Minton KW. DNA repair in the extremely radioresistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans. Mol Microbiol. 1994 Jul;13(1):9-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1994.tb00397.x. PMID: 7984097.

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General comments

Darko Savic
Darko Savic7 months ago
I also wonder how Deinococcus radiodurans deals with the epigenetic drift
Darko Savic
Darko Savic10 months ago
D. Radiodurans even survived when exposed to the vacuum of space for 3 years https://youtu.be/O_ZD-uXvlMk
Martina Pesce
Martina Pesce10 months ago
yes, they talk as these two endonucleases (UvrABC excinuclease and second bona fide endonuclease) are responsible for these repair mechanisms.

I would say that with technologies like CRISPR we could edit the cells' genome so that they also express these molecular machines. Would be cool to see how they react in an in vitro experiment:
-if there are some rejections
-if these two molecular machines fit well in the space and environment
-if they don't unsurprisingly damage other mechanisms that are typically just of humans cells.
Darko Savic
Darko Savic10 months ago
Here's an interesting experiment of engineered endosymbiosis between e. coli and yeast https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6243291/

I wonder what would happen if in a similar fashion, D. radiodurans was made dependent on a host cell and then the host got exposed to high levels of radiation. Would there be any attempt from D. radiodurans to save the host and in so doing save itself?