M. extorquens, Metabolic Superstar
This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of
"I Don't Know How To Love Him"
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
and featured in the movie Jesus Christ Superstar).
I donít know how they do it Ė-
Switching fuels like a hybrid.
And when they change,
They really change.
If the levels of succinate
Start to fall,
Theyíll shift to methanol...
Yes, now we have their genome,
But I donít see what it tells us.
Itís the genes; itís just the genes.
And the genes donít change
When the fuels do,
So how do the cells respond?
We need more clues!
Measure pathway flux;
Do enzyme assays!
Hey, M. extorquens, soon weíll know
What youíre all about...
Donít you think itís rather daunting?
All this work, all these data.
No other group would take this on.
So weíll be first to get results
And get our grant renewed
When itís reviewed.
Theyíll think weíre shrewd...
Or else weíre screwed.
This song was written for the University of Washington
Postdoctoral Association's 2005 research symposium. It was intended
as a not-too-technical summary of a multi-tiered study of the ability of
Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 to switch from succinate to methanol as its source of carbon
M. extorquens AM1 might be considered a metabolic superstar in that it is "popular"
(frequently studied) and "versatile" (can grow on many different substrates) and has great "potential"
(for making value-added chemicals from cheap substrates like methanol).