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Renewable production of 5-carbon polyamide monomers using engineered escherichia coli

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The diversity of industrially important chemicals that can be produced biocatalytically from renewable resources continues to expand with the aid of metabolic and pathway engineering. In addition to biofuels, these

The diversity of industrially important chemicals that can be produced biocatalytically from renewable resources continues to expand with the aid of metabolic and pathway engineering. In addition to biofuels, these chemicals also include a number of monomers with utility in conventional and novel plastic materials production. Monomers used for polyamide production are no exception, as evidenced by the recent engineering of microbial biocatalysts to produce cadaverine, putrescine, and succinate. In this thesis the repertoire and depth of these renewable polyamide precursors is expanded upon through the engineering of a novel pathway that enables Escherichia coli to produce, as individual products, both δ-aminovaleric acid (AMV) and glutaric acid when grown in glucose mineral salt medium. δ-Aminovaleric acid is the monomeric subunit of nylon-5 homopolymer, whereas glutaric acid is a dicarboxylic acid used to produce copolymers such as nylon-5,5. These feats were achieved by increasing endogenous production of the required pathway precursor, L-lysine. E. coli was engineered for L-lysine over-production through the introduction and expression of metabolically deregulated pathway genes, namely aspartate kinase III and dihydrodipicolinate synthase, encoded by the feedback resistant mutants lysCfbr and dapAfbr, respectively. After deleting a natural L-lysine decarboxylase, up to 1.6 g/L L-lysine could be produced from glucose in shake flasks as a result. The natural L-lysine degradation pathway of numerous Pseudomonas sp., which passes from L-lysine through both δ-aminovaleric acid and glutaric acid, was then functionally reconstructed in a piecewise manner in the E. coli L-lysine over-producer. Expression of davBA alone resulted in the production of over 0.86 g/L AMV in 48 h. Expression of davBADT resulted in the production of over 0.82 g/L glutaric acid under the same conditions. These production titers were achieved with yields of 69.5 and 68.4 mmol/mol of AMV and glutarate, respectively. Future improvements to the ability to synthesize both products will likely come from the ability to eliminate cadaverine by-product formation through the deletion of cadA and ldcC, genes involved in E. coli's native lysine degradation pathway. Nevertheless, through metabolic and pathway engineering, it is now possible produce the polyamide monomers of δ-aminovaleric acid and glutaric acid from renewable resources.

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  • 2012