A lower specificity PhaC2 synthase from Pseudomonas stutzeri catalyses the production of copolyesters consisting of short-chain-length and medium-chain-length 3-hydroxyalkanoates

Jing-Yu Chen, Ge Song, Guo-Qiang Chen
Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 2006, 89 (1): 157-67
A polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase gene phaC2 (Ps) from Pseudomonas stutzeri strain 1317 was introduced into a PHA synthase gene phbC (Re) negative mutant, Ralstonia eutropha PHB(-)4. It conferred on the host strain the ability to synthesize PHA, the monomer compositions of which varied widely when grown on different carbon sources. During cultivation on gluconate, the presence of phaC2 (Ps) in R. eutropha PHB(-)4 led to the accumulation of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) homopolymer in an amount of 40.9 wt% in dry cells. With fatty acids, the recombinant successfully produced PHA copolyesters containing both short-chain-length and medium-chain-length 3-hydroxyalkanoate (3HA) of 4-12 carbon atoms in length. When cultivated on a mixture of gluconate and fatty acid, the monomer composition of accumulated PHA was greatly affected and the monomer content was easily regulated by the addition of fatty acids in the cultivation medium. After the (R)-3-hydroxydecanol-ACP:CoA transacylase gene phaG (Pp) from Pseudomonas putida was introduced into phaC2(Ps)-containing R. eutropha PHB(-)4, poly(3HB-co-3HA) copolyester with a very high 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) fraction (97.3 mol%) was produced from gluconate and the monomer compositions of PHA synthesized from fatty acids were also altered. This study clearly demonstrated that PhaC2(Ps) cloned from P. stutzeri 1317 has extraordinarily low substrate specificity in vivo, though it has only 54% identity in comparison to a previously described low-substrate-specificity PHA synthase PhaC1(Ps) from Pseudomonas sp. 61-3. This study also indicated that the monomer composition and content of the synthesized PHA can be effectively modulated by controlling the addition of carbon sources or by modifying metabolic pathways in the hosts.

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