Pathway and metabolic engineering can take many forms. In one application, a known pathway exists to produce a known product. Optimizing pathway flux and enzyme turnover can increase product yield. In another application, a de novo or synthetic pathway needs to be identified to produce a desired product through retrosynthesis. Enzymes from disparate sources need to be tested combinatorially to identify the desired product. Both applications rely on rapid engineering cycles.
Sol by Tierra makes pathway engineering easier by allowing you to combinatorially test enzymes and conditions. The enzymes can be metagenomically derived, computationally designed, or evolved. All Tierra requires from you are digital sequences. Tierra returns purified enzymes ready for testing. Subsets of enzymes can be combined together and intermediate products can be detected. For each part of your pathway, flux and turnover can be understood. Problematic enzymes can be diversified through metagenomic screening, directed evolution, or rational design.
Because no further transformation and cloning is required, you can drastically shorten your design-build-test-learn cycle from weeks to hours. Each experiment is mixing of different enzymes, not producing new strains, and each experiment can be done combinatorially. The end result is an exhaustive exploration of your pathway, with data to help you migrate it back to your cellular strain. This is especially powerful when your goal is retrosynthesis, as success validates your de novo or synthetic pathway and can lead to valuable insights and intellectual property.
The faster you get through the “design-build-test-learn” cycle, the faster you get product-to-market.