Enhanced production of poly(lactate-co-3-hydroxybutyrate) from xylose in engineered Escherichia coli overexpressing a galactitol transporter

John Masani Nduko, Ken'ichiro Matsumoto, Toshihiko Ooi, Seiichi Taguchi
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2014, 98 (6): 2453-60
Poly(lactate-co-3-hydroxybutyrate) (P(LA-co-3HB)) was previously produced from xylose in engineered Escherichia coli. The aim of this study was to increase the polymer productivity and LA fraction in P(LA-co-3HB) using two metabolic engineering approaches: (1) deletions of competing pathways to lactate production and (2) overexpression of a galactitol transporter (GatC), which contributes to the ATP-independent xylose uptake. Engineered E. coli mutants (ΔpflA, Δpta, ΔackA, ΔpoxB, Δdld, and a dual mutant; ΔpflA + Δdld) and their parent strain, BW25113, were grown on 20 g l(-1) xylose for P(LA-co-3HB) production. The single deletions of ΔpflA, Δpta, and Δdld increased the LA fraction (58-66 mol%) compared to BW25113 (56 mol%). In particular, the ΔpflA + Δdld strain produced P(LA-co-3HB) containing 73 mol% LA. Furthermore, GatC overexpression increased both polymer yields and LA fractions in ΔpflA, Δpta, and Δdld mutants, and BW25113. The ΔpflA + gatC strain achieved a productivity of 8.3 g l(-1), which was 72 % of the theoretical maximum yield. Thus, to eliminate limitation of the carbon source, higher concentration of xylose was fed. As a result, BW25113 harboring gatC grown on 40 g l(-1) xylose reached the highest P(LA-co-3HB) productivity of 14.4 g l(-1). On the other hand, the ΔpflA + Δdld strain grown on 30 g l(-1) xylose synthesized 6.4 g l(-1) P(LA-co-3HB) while maintaining the highest LA fraction (73 mol%). The results indicated the usefulness of GatC for enhanced production of P(LA-co-3HB) from xylose, and the gene deletions to upregulate the LA fraction in P(LA-co-3HB). The polymers obtained had weight-averaged molecular weights in the range of 34,000-114,000.

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