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Mutant fatty acid desaturase

United States Patent

February 3, 2004
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Brookhaven National Laboratory - Visit the Office of Technology Commercialization and Partnerships Website
Mutant Fatty Acid Desaturase and Method for Directed Mutagenesis
The present invention relates to a method for producing mutants of a fatty acid desaturase having a substantially increased activity towards fatty acid substrates with chains containing fewer than 18 carbons relative to an unmutagenized precursor desaturase having an 18 carbon atom chain length substrate specificity. The method involves inducing one or more mutations in the nucleic acid sequence encoding the precursor desaturase, transforming the mutated sequence into an unsaturated fatty acid auxotroph cell such as MH13 E. coli, culturing the cells in the absence of supplemental unsaturated fatty acids, thereby selecting for recipient cells which have received and which express a mutant fatty acid desaturase with an elevated specificity for fatty acid substrates having chain lengths of less than 18 carbon atoms. A variety of mutants having 16 or fewer carbon atom chain length substrate specificities are produced by this method. Mutant desaturases produced by this method can be introduced via expression vectors into prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and can also be used in the production of transgenic plants which may be used to produce specific fatty acid products.
Shanklin; John (Shoreham, NY), Cahoon; Edgar B. (Wilmington, DE)
Brookhaven Science Associates LLC (Upton, NY)
09/ 988,929
December 3, 2001
This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-AC02-98CH10886, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.