Emerging Contaminants Summit

Spring 2020

StudentCompetitionwang mengMeng Wang
Graduate Student
University of California, Los Angeles

Meng Wang is a PhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCLA. He got his B.S. degree in Environmental Chemistry from Nanjing University in 2008, and finished his Master in UCLA, 2015. Meng’s research interests lie on the application of biocatalytic enzymes in bioremediation. He previously worked the remediation of nonylphenol with horseradish peroxidase, exploring products and how natural organic matter affected degradation. Since in vitro enzymes are sensitive and easily deactivated in the environment, his currently research centers on stabilizing enzymes via encapsulation using naturally synthesized and self-assembled vault nanoparticles.


Vault Nanoparticles Packaged with Enzymes as an Innovative Contaminant Biodegradation Technology

Vault nanoparticles packaged with enzymes were synthesized as innovative agents for environmental remediation. Enzymatic bioremediation is an attractive technology for in-situ treatment of contaminated soil and water environments because free enzyme-catalyzed reactions are not constrained by nutrient requirements for microbial growth, and generally have higher biodegradation rates. However, the limited stability of in vitro enzymes remains a great challenge for practical applications. Encapsulation is an effective way to enhance enzymatic stability, but it can cause extra substrate diffusion resistance, lower catalytic efficiency and increase half saturation constant. Herein, we reported a novel enzymatic stability enhancing approach using single-step vault nanoparticles packaging. With hollow structures, self-assembled vault nanoparticles can simultaneously contain multiple enzymes. Manganese peroxidase (MnP), which is efficient for the bioremediation of endocrine disruptors such as nonylphenol and bisphenol A, was chosen as the model enzyme. MnP was sequestered into vaults by fusing to INT domain, which strongly interacts with vaults’ interior surface. INT fused MnP and vaults packaged MnP-INT retained the peroxidase activity. Furthermore, MnP-INT packaged in vaults showed significantly higher thermal stability than free MnP-INT, with slightly higher Km value. Additionally, preliminary biodegradation test using phenol as a model contaminant showed that vaults packaged MnP-INT exhibited 3 times higher removal rate than unpackaged MnP-INT in 24 hours. These results indicate that vault nanoparticles packaging extends MnP stability without significantly affecting its catalytic activity. This research will serve as the foundation for the development of novel and sustainable vault-based bioremediation approaches for multiple contaminants in wastewater and groundwater.






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