Bioremediation Homepage

DCMation: decimating DCM pollution using bioremediation

Bioremediation is a form of clean waste management that relies on the ability of organisms to break down a wide range of pollutants and toxic wastes that would otherwise harm the environment and potentially pose a threat to human health. Dichloromethane (DCM) is such a toxic waste product, and we have made it our mission to explore and develop a system to safely degrade DCM using bacteria.

The three 'DCMation' links below will guide you through our interdisciplinary approach of evaluating and improving the DCM-degrading capacity of the native bacterium, Methylobacterium extorquens DM4. Additionally, these pages explain how and why we have expressed the DCM degradation system in E. coli and P. putida, and how we are adapting them for DCMation.

The three 'Microcompartment' pages will take you on a journey of how models of microcompartments designed by our engineers work hand-in-hand with the results that our biochemists obtained in wet-lab experiments. After explaining what microcompartments are and why we use them, we introduce our collaboration with the Melbourne iGEM team and their project, the Star Peptide, which is a possible alternative to the use of microcompartments.

DcmA catalysis
DcmA is the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of DCM and is expressed in M.extorquens under the control of the regulatory protein DcmR. This enzyme is a member of the glutathione-S-transferase family. We propose the following plausible mechanism for the catalytic dehalogenation of dichloromethane by DcmA, in which glutathione (RSH) is a co-factor:

Oxford iGEM 2014