Replacing Escherichia coli NAD-dependent glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) with a NADP-dependent enzyme from Clostridium acetobutylicum facilitates NADPH dependent pathways
Reactions requiring reducing equivalents, NAD(P)H, are of enormous importance for the synthesis of industrially valuable compounds such as carotenoids, polymers, antibiotics and chiral alcohols among others. The use of whole-cell biocatalysis can reduce process cost by acting as catalyst and cofactor regenerator at the same time; however, product yields might be limited by cofactor availability within the cell. Thus, our study focussed on the genetic manipulation of a whole-cell system by modifying metabolic pathways and enzymes to improve the overall production process. In the present work, we genetically engineered an Escherichia coli strain to increase NADPH availability to improve the productivity of products that require NADPH in its biosynthesis. The approach involved an alteration of the glycolysis step where glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (GAP) is oxidized to 1,3 bisphophoglycerate (1,3-BPG). This reaction is catalyzed by NAD-dependent endogenous glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) encoded by the gapA gene. We constructed a recombinant E. coli strain by replacing the native NAD-dependent gapA gene with a NADP-dependent GAPDH from Clostridium acetobutylicum, encoded by the gene gapC. The beauty of this approach is that the recombinant E. coli strain produces 2 mol of NADPH, instead of NADH, per mole of glucose consumed. Metabolic flux analysis showed that the flux through the pentose phosphate (PP) pathway, one of the main pathways that produce NADPH, was reduced significantly in the recombinant strain when compared to that of the parent strain. The effectiveness of the NADPH enhancing system was tested using the production of lycopene and ε-caprolactone as model systems using two different background strains. The recombinant strains, with increased NADPH availability, consistently showed significant higher productivity than the parent strains.
Journal: Metabolic Engineering - Volume 10, Issue 6, November 2008, Pages 352–359