Structural Enzymology

Javier M. González, PhD.

Interests Structural Biology. Enzymology. Protein Engineering. Metabolic Engineering.

What we do Methylotrophic bacteria of the genus Methylorubrum (Methylobacterium) possess the unusual ability to use methanol as the sole carbon and energy source, as well as other one-carbon (C1) sources, such as formate, dimethylsulfoxide, and dimethylformamide. Thus, Methylorubrum has been proposed as an ideal organism to obtain biomass with added value in carbon-neutral form from reduced C1 compounds, which can be obtained from biogas generated by anaerobic fermentation of organic waste. Extremophilic Methylorubrum strains native to arid areas of northern Argentina constitute a gene pool with great biotechnological and economic potential, compared to the mesophilic Methylorubrum strains commonly proposed for biotechnological applications.

Our recently established research group in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, aims to develop strategies to improve carbon fixation and assimilation by exploiting the genetic diversity of local extremophilic microorganisms. In our group we sampled saline waters and soils in northwestern Argentina, including the salt flats in Salina de Ambargasta in southwestern Santiago del Estero, in search of environmental DNA for metagenomic analysis. The cloning, expression and functional-structural characterization of extremophilic enzymes involved in the fixation and assimilation of carbon in these environments will provide new enzymatic tools to improve synthetic carbon metabolism. Furthermore, the resolution of the atomic structure of these enzymes by X-ray Crystallography will enable us to optimize said enzymes by Directed Evolution in vitro and rational design, applying Genetic Engineering techniques.

Graduate Students

Lic. María Belén López
Lic. en Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, 2014.
Becaria Doctoral, CONICET. Doctorando en Ciencias Biológicas, UNT.

Lic. María Belén Oterino
Lic. en Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, 2008.
Especialista en Ingeniería Bioenergética, Universidad Tecnológica Nacional, 2019.
Becaria Doctoral, CONICET. Doctorando en Ciencias Biológicas, UNT.

Lic. Andrea Zerda Moreira
Lic. en Genética, Universidad Nacional de Misiones, 2019.
Becaria Doctoral, CONICET.

Selected Publications

Sartorio M. G., Cortez N. & González J. M. (2021) Structure and functional properties of the cold-adapted catalase from Acinetobacter sp. Ver3 native to the Atacama plateau in northern Argentina. Acta Cryst. Struct. Biol. Section D77, 369-379.

González J.M. (2021) Visualizing the superfamily of metallo-β-lactamases through sequence similarity network neighborhood connectivity analysis. Heliyon 7 (1).

González J.M.; Agostini, R.B.; Alvarez, C.E.; Klinke, S.; Andreo, C.S.; Campos-Bermudez, V.A. (2019) Deciphering the number and location of active sites in the monomeric glyoxalase I of Zea mays. The FEBS Journal. (ver Noticias)

Funding

PICT 2017 4590 Caracterización estructural y funcional de enzimas claves para la reutilización de carbono en microorganismos extremófilos de la Puna de Atacama, Titular: Dr. Javier M. González

PUE 2018 0035 La Salina de Ambargasta y aguas contaminadas en Santiago del Estero como recursos autóctonos para la innovación en Bionanotecnología, Titular: Dr. Claudio D. Borsarelli, Co-Titular: Dr. Javier M. González


Post-doctoral position available CONICET Fellowship (PUE 2018-0035)

Taxonomía y Metagenómica de la microbiota halófila de la Salina de Ambargasta para su aprovechamiento biotecnológico