Matching Items (3)

Strategies for Recovery of Biosynthetic Styrene

Description

Styrene, a component of many rubber products, is currently synthesized from petroleum in a highly energy-intensive process. The Nielsen Laboratory at Arizona State has demonstrated a biochemical pathway by which

Styrene, a component of many rubber products, is currently synthesized from petroleum in a highly energy-intensive process. The Nielsen Laboratory at Arizona State has demonstrated a biochemical pathway by which E. coli can be engineered to produce styrene from the amino acid phenylalanine, which E. coli naturally synthesizes from glucose. However, styrene becomes toxic to E. coli above concentrations of 300 mg/L, severely limiting the large-scale applicability of the pathway. Thus, styrene must somehow be continuously removed from the system to facilitate higher yields and for the purposes of scale-up. The separation methods of pervaporation and solvent extraction were investigated to this end. Furthermore, the styrene pathway was extended by one step to produce styrene oxide, which is less volatile than styrene and theoretically simpler to recover. Adsorption of styrene oxide using the hydrophobic resin L-493 was attempted in order to improve the yield of styrene oxide and to provide additional proof of concept that the flux through the styrene pathway can be increased. The maximum styrene titer achieved was 1.2 g/L using the method of solvent extraction, but this yield was only possible when additional phenylalanine was supplemented to the system.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

Rational and combinatorial approaches to engineering styrene production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Description

Background
Styrene is an important building-block petrochemical and monomer used to produce numerous plastics. Whereas styrene bioproduction by Escherichia coli was previously reported, the long-term potential of this approach will

Background
Styrene is an important building-block petrochemical and monomer used to produce numerous plastics. Whereas styrene bioproduction by Escherichia coli was previously reported, the long-term potential of this approach will ultimately rely on the use of hosts with improved industrial phenotypes, such as the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Results
Classical metabolic evolution was first applied to isolate a mutant capable of phenylalanine over-production to 357 mg/L. Transcription analysis revealed up-regulation of several phenylalanine biosynthesis pathway genes including ARO3, encoding the bottleneck enzyme DAHP synthase. To catalyze the first pathway step, phenylalanine ammonia lyase encoded by PAL2 from A. thaliana was constitutively expressed from a high copy plasmid. The final pathway step, phenylacrylate decarboxylase, was catalyzed by the native FDC1. Expression of FDC1 was naturally induced by trans-cinnamate, the pathway intermediate and its substrate, at levels sufficient for ensuring flux through the pathway. Deletion of ARO10 to eliminate the competing Ehrlich pathway and expression of a feedback-resistant DAHP synthase encoded by ARO4[subscript K229L] preserved and promoted the endogenous availability precursor phenylalanine, leading to improved pathway flux and styrene production. These systematic improvements allowed styrene titers to ultimately reach 29 mg/L at a glucose yield of 1.44 mg/g, a 60% improvement over the initial strain.
Conclusions
The potential of S. cerevisiae as a host for renewable styrene production has been demonstrated. Significant strain improvements, however, will ultimately be needed to achieve economical production levels.

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Date Created
  • 2014-08-21

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Metabolic engineering for the biosynthesis of styrene and its derivatives

Description

Metabolic engineering is an extremely useful tool enabling the biosynthetic production of commodity chemicals (typically derived from petroleum) from renewable resources. In this work, a pathway for the biosynthesis of

Metabolic engineering is an extremely useful tool enabling the biosynthetic production of commodity chemicals (typically derived from petroleum) from renewable resources. In this work, a pathway for the biosynthesis of styrene (a plastics monomer) has been engineered in Escherichia coli from glucose by utilizing the pathway for the naturally occurring amino acid phenylalanine, the precursor to styrene. Styrene production was accomplished using an E. coli phenylalanine overproducer, E. coli NST74, and over-expression of PAL2 from Arabidopsis thaliana and FDC1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The styrene pathway was then extended by just one enzyme to either (S)-styrene oxide (StyAB from Pseudomonas putida S12) or (R)-1,2-phenylethanediol (NahAaAbAcAd from Pseudomonas sp. NCIB 9816-4) which are both used in pharmaceutical production. Overall, these pathways suffered from limitations due to product toxicity as well as limited precursor availability. In an effort to overcome the toxicity threshold, the styrene pathway was transferred to a yeast host with a higher toxicity limit. First, Saccharomyces cerevisiae BY4741 was engineered to overproduce phenylalanine. Next, PAL2 (the only enzyme needed to complete the styrene pathway) was then expressed in the BY4741 phenylalanine overproducer. Further strain improvements included the deletion of the phenylpyruvate decarboxylase (ARO10) and expression of a feedback-resistant choristmate mutase (ARO4K229L). These works have successfully demonstrated the possibility of utilizing microorganisms as cellular factories for the production styrene, (S)-styrene oxide, and (R)-1,2-phenylethanediol.

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Date Created
  • 2014