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Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Dr Simone Antonio De Rose

Dr Simone Antonio De Rose

Postdoctoral researcher

 Biocatalysis Centre BC 1.4


Biocatalysis Centre, University of Exeter, The Henry Wellcome Building for Biocatalysis, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QD , UK


Research projects

Project HotSolute

Thermophilic organisms are composed of both bacterial and archaeal species. The enzymes isolated from these species and from other extreme habitats are more robust to temperature, organic solvents and proteolysis. They often have unique substrate specificities and originate from novel metabolic pathways. Thermophiles as well as their stable enzymes (‘thermozymes’) are receiving increased attention for biotechnological applications.

The proposed project will establish thermophilic in vitro enzyme cascades as well as two new chassis, the thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilus (Tth, 65-75°C, pH 7.0) and the thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius (Saci, 75-80°C, pH 2-4), as new thermophilic, bacterial and archaeal platforms for the production of novel high added-value products, i.e. ‘extremolytes’. Extremolytes are small molecular compatible solutes found naturally in the cells of thermophilic species that accumulate in the cell in response to multiple environmental stresses and stabilize cellular components (including proteins, membranes). Extremolytes offer an amazing so far unexploited potential for industrial applications including food, health, consumer care and cosmetics. However, their production in common mesophilic organisms (i.e. yeast, E. coli) is currently hampered by the hyperthermophilic origin of the respective metabolic pathways requiring a thermophilic cell factory.

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Journal articles

De Rose SA, Isupov MN, Worthy HL, Stracke C, Harmer NJ, Siebers B, Littlechild JA, consortium TH, Siebers B, Bräsen C, et al (2023). Structural characterization of a novel cyclic 2,3-diphosphoglycerate synthetase involved in extremolyte production in the archaeon Methanothermus fervidus. Frontiers in Microbiology, 14
De Rose SA, Kuprat T, Isupov MN, Reinhardt A, Schönheit P, Littlechild JA (2021). Biochemical and Structural Characterisation of a Novel D-Lyxose Isomerase from the Hyperthermophilic Archaeon Thermofilum sp. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 9 Abstract.
De Rose SA, Finnigan W, Harmer NJ, Littlechild JA, consortium TH, Bettina S, Christopher B, Christina S, Benjamin M, N. IM, et al (2021). Production of the Extremolyte Cyclic 2,3-Diphosphoglycerate Using Thermus thermophilus as a Whole-Cell Factory. Frontiers in Catalysis, 1
James P, Isupov MN, De Rose SA, Sayer C, Cole IS, Littlechild JA (2020). A ‘Split-Gene’ Transketolase from the Hyper-Thermophilic Bacterium Carboxydothermus hydrogenoformans: Structure and Biochemical Characterization. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11
Yilmazer B, Isupov MN, De Rose SA, Bulut H, Benninghoff JC, Binay B, Littlechild JA (2020). Structural insights into the NAD+-dependent formate dehydrogenase mechanism revealed from the NADH complex and the formate NAD+ ternary complex of the Chaetomium thermophilum enzyme. Journal of Structural Biology, 212(3), 107657-107657.
Cutlan R, De Rose S, Isupov MN, Littlechild JA, Harmer NJ (2020). Using enzyme cascades in biocatalysis: Highlight on transaminases and carboxylic acid reductases. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Proteins and Proteomics, 1868(2), 140322-140322.
Ferrandi EE, Sayer C, De Rose SA, Guazzelli E, Marchesi C, Saneei V, Isupov MN, Littlechild JA, Monti D (2018). New thermophilic α/β class epoxide hydrolases found in metagenomes from hot environments. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 6(OCT). Abstract.
de Rose SA, Novak H, Dowd A, Singh S, Lang DA, Littlechild J (2017). Stabilization of a lipolytic enzyme for commercial application. Catalysts, 7(3). Abstract.

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