Deinococcus radiodurans engineered to take the place of an intracellular organelle in charge of DNA integrity
Image credit: EMSL
Darko SavicOct 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?
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.