Biosynthesis of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate- co-3-hydroxyalkanoates) by metabolically engineered Escherichia coli strains

Si Jae Park, Sang Yup Lee
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2004, 113: 335-46
Biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) consisting of 3-hydroxy-alkanoates (3HAs) of 4 to 10 carbon atoms was examined in metabolically engineered Escherichia coli strains. When the fadA and/or fadB mutant E. coli strains harboring the plasmid containing the Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 phaC2 gene and the Ralstonia eutropha phaAB genes were cultured in Luria-Bertani (LB) medium supplemented with 2 g/L of sodium decanoate, all the recombinant E. coli strains synthesized PHAs consisting of C4, C6, C8, and C10 monomer units. The monomer composition of PHA was dependent on the E. coli strain used. When the fadA mutant E. coli was employed, PHA containing up to 63 mol% of 3-hydroyhexanoate was produced. In fadB and fadAB mutant E. coli strains, 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) was efficiently incorporated into PHA up to 86 mol%. Cultivation of recombinant fadA and/or fadB mutant E. coli strains in LB medium containing 10 g/L of sodium gluconate and 2 g/L of sodium decanoate resulted in the production of PHA copolymer containing a very high fraction of 3HB up to 95 mol%. Since the material properties of PHA copolymer consisting of a large fraction of 3HB and a small fraction of medium-chain-length 3HA are similar to those of low-density polyethylene, recombinant E. coli strains constructed in this study should be useful for the production of PHAs suitable for various commercial applications.

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