Lactate fraction dependent mechanical properties of semitransparent poly(lactate-co-3-hydroxybutyrate)s produced by control of lactyl-CoA monomer fluxes in recombinant Escherichia coli

Miwa Yamada, Ken'ichiro Matsumoto, Shu Uramoto, Ren Motohashi, Hideki Abe, Seiichi Taguchi
Journal of Biotechnology 2011 July 20, 154 (4): 255-60
In order to evaluate the mechanical properties of poly(lactate-co-3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(LA-co-3HB)] and its correlation with the LA fraction, P(LA-co-3HB)s with a variety of LA fractions were prepared using recombinant Escherichia coli expressing the LA-polymerizing enzyme and monomer supplying enzymes. The LA-overproducing mutant E. coli JW0885 with a pflA gene disruption was used for the LA-enriched polymer production. The LA fraction was also varied by jar-fermentor based fine-regulation of the anaerobic status of the culture conditions, resulting in LA fractions ranging from 4 to 47 mol%. In contrary to the opaque P(3HB) film, the copolymer films attained semitransparency depending on the LA fraction. Young's modulus values of the P(LA-co-3HB)s (from 148 to 905 MPa) were lower than those of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) (1020 MPa) and P(3HB) (1079 MPa). In addition, the value of elongation at break of the copolymer with 29 mol% LA reached 150%. In conclusion, P(LA-co-3HB)s were found to be a comparatively pliable and flexible material, differing from both of the rigid homopolymers.

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