Development of rapid method for extraction of natural blue chromophore from cyanobacteria
26 Jan 2021
Phycocyanobilin (PCB) is a natural blue chromophore found in cyanobacteria. PCB is expected to be applied as food colorants and pharmaceuticals with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. PCB also functions as the chromophore of photoswitches that control biological functions in synthetic biology. PCB is covalently bound to phycocyanin, a component of photosynthetic antenna protein, and its extraction requires specialized expertise, time-consuming procedures, and/or expensive reagents. A research group led by Assistant Professor Yuu Hirose at Toyohashi University of Technology succeeded in developing a highly efficient and rapid extraction method for PCB by treating cyanobacterial cells with alcohol under high-temperature and high-pressure conditions. They also demonstrated that this method can be applied to the isotopic labeling of PCB and its reconstitution with photoswitch protein. This technique is expected to lead to the development of new functional foods and medicines and the structural elucidation of various PCB-binding photoswitches.