Hyaluronic acid production and molecular weight improvement by redirection of carbon flux towards its biosynthesis pathway
•Addition of glycolytic inhibitors increased molecular weight by 33%.•Addition of glutamine and iodoacetate together increased HA concentration by 150%.•Principal node of glucose 6-phosphate is not rigid.•This node can be manipulated for better HA production.•Molecular weight of HA and qHA are functions of cellular specific growth rate.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) production in Streptococcus zooepidemicus competes for the carbon source along with biomass formation, lactate formation (via glycolysis) and pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). In our studies, increase in HA molecular weight was observed by redirecting the carbon flux towards HA biosynthesis pathway by partially inhibiting the glycolytic pathway. Batch bioreactor (1.2 L) studies showed that with the addition of 25 μM sodium iodoacetate, 5 g/L tryptophan and 10 g/L pyruvate, which are glycolytic inhibitors, HA molecular weight increased to 3.2, 3.2 and 3.1 MDa respectively compared to control run (2.4 MDa). Yield coefficients YHA/S and YLA/S showed inverse relationship, indicating competition for glucose between HA and lactic acid formation. Addition of 5 g/L glutamine along with 25 μM sodium iodoacetate also increased the HA concentration to 5.0 g/L from 2.0 g/L in control run. Metabolic flux analysis studies show that concentration and molecular weight of HA is increased by decreasing carbon flux towards glycolysis and PPP and increasing carbon flux towards HA precursor formation. It was observed that specific growth rate of the cells correlated positively to the specific HA production rate and negatively to the molecular weight of HA produced. Addition of antioxidant tannic acid also increased molecular weight to 3.0 MDa.
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Journal: Biochemical Engineering Journal - Volume 80, 15 November 2013, Pages 53–60