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2-Pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylic acid (PDC) is a pseudo-aromatic dicarboxylic acid and is a promising bio-based building block chemical that can be used to make diverse polyesters with novel functionalities. In this study, Escherichia coli was metabolically engineered to produce PDC from glucose. First, an efficient biosynthetic pathway for PDC production from glucose was suggested by in silico metabolic flux simulation. This best pathway employs a single-step biosynthetic route to protocatechuic acid (PCA), a metabolic precursor for PDC biosynthesis. Based on the selected PDC biosynthetic pathway, a shikimate dehydrogenase (encoded by aroE)-deficient E. coli strain was engineered by introducing heterologous genes of different microbial origin encoding enzymes responsible for converting 3-dehydroshikimate (DHS) to PDC, which allowed de novo biosynthesis of PDC from glucose. Next, production of PDC was further improved by applying stepwise rational metabolic engineering strategies. These include elimination of feedback inhibition on 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate-7-phosphate synthase (encoded by aroG) by overexpressing a feedback-resistant variant, enhancement of the precursor phosphoenolpyruvate supply by changing the native promoter of the ppsA gene with the strong trc promoter, and reducing accumulation of the major byproduct DHS by overexpression of a DHS importer (encoded by shiA). Furthermore, cofactor (NADP+/NADPH) utilization was manipulated through genetic modifications of the E. coli soluble pyridine nucleotide transhydrogenase (encoded by sthA), and the resultant impact on PDC production was investigated. Fed-batch fermentation of the final engineered E. coli strain allowed production of 16.72 g/L of PDC from glucose with the yield and productivity of 0.201 g/g and 0.172 g/L/h, respectively, representing the highest PDC production performance indices reported to date.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: ACS synthetic biology
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