Engineering Escherichia coli for production of C12–C14 polyhydroxyalkanoate from glucose
Demand for sustainable materials motivates the development of microorganisms capable of synthesizing products from renewable substrates. A challenge to commercial production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), microbially derived polyesters, is engineering metabolic pathways to produce a polymer with the desired monomer composition from an unrelated and renewable source. Here, we demonstrate a metabolic pathway for converting glucose into medium-chain-length (mcl)-PHA composed primarily of 3-hydroxydodecanoate monomers. This pathway combines fatty acid biosynthesis, an acyl-ACP thioesterase to generate desired C12 and C14 fatty acids, β-oxidation for conversion of fatty acids to (R)-3-hydroxyacyl-CoAs, and a PHA polymerase. A key finding is that Escherichia coli expresses multiple copies of enzymes involved in β-oxidation under aerobic conditions. To produce polyhydroxydodecanoate, an acyl-ACP thioesterase (BTE), an enoyl-CoA hydratase (phaJ3), and mcl-PHA polymerase (phaC2) were overexpressed in E. coli ΔfadRABIJ. Yields were improved through expression of an acyl-CoA synthetase resulting in production over 15% CDW – the highest reported production of mcl-PHA of a defined composition from an unrelated carbon source.
► Characterization of a β-oxidation mutant library under aerobic conditions. ► Characterization of six PHA biosynthetic enzymes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. ► Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli to produce 15% CDW mcl-PHA with monomer profile that matches the thioesterase product profile. ► Demonstration that CoA-synthetase activity is a limiting step in the pathway.
Journal: Metabolic Engineering - Volume 14, Issue 6, November 2012, Pages 705–713