Biotechnological production of aromatic compounds of the extended shikimate pathway from renewable biomass

Jin-Ho Lee, Volker F Wendisch
Journal of Biotechnology 2017 September 10, 257: 211-221
Aromatic chemicals that contain an unsaturated ring with alternating double and single bonds find numerous applications in a wide range of industries, e.g. paper and dye manufacture, as fuel additives, electrical insulation, resins, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, in food, feed and cosmetics. Their chemical production is based on petroleum (BTX; benzene, toluene, and xylene), but they can also be obtained from plants by extraction. Due to petroleum depletion, health compliance, or environmental issues such as global warming, the biotechnological production of aromatics from renewable biomass came more and more into focus. Lignin, a complex polymeric aromatic molecule itself, is a natural source of aromatic compounds. Many microorganisms are able to catabolize a plethora of aromatic compounds and interception of these pathways may lead to the biotechnological production of value-added aromatic compounds which will be discussed for Corynebacterium glutamicum. Biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids not only gives rise to l-tryptophan, L-tyrosine and l-phenylalanine, but also to aromatic intermediates such as dehydroshikimate or chorismate from which value-added aromatic compounds can be derived. In this review, we will summarize recent strategies for the biotechnological production of aromatic and related compounds from renewable biomass by Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas putida, C. glutamicum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In particular, we will focus on metabolic engineering of the extended shikimate pathway.


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