Engineering a homobutanol fermentation pathway in Escherichia coli EG03.

Research paper by Erin E Garza, Jinfang J Zhao, Yongze Y Wang, Jinhua J Wang, Andrew A Iverson, Ryan R Manow, Chris C Finan, Shengde S Zhou

Indexed on: 11 Jul '12Published on: 11 Jul '12Published in: Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology


A homobutanol fermentation pathway was engineered in a derivative of Escherichia coli B (glucose [glycolysis] => 2 pyruvate + 2 NADH; pyruvate [pyruvate dehydrogenase] => acetyl-CoA + NADH; 2 acetyl-CoA [butanol pathway enzymes] + 4 NADH => butanol; summary stoichiometry: glucose => butanol). Initially, the native fermentation pathways were eliminated from E. coli B by deleting the genes encoding for lactate dehydrogenase (ldhA), acetate kinase (ackA), fumarate reductase (frdABCD), pyruvate formate lyase (pflB), and alcohol dehydrogenase (adhE), and the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (aceEF-lpd) was anaerobically expressed through promoter replacement. The resulting strain, E. coli EG03 (ΔfrdABCD ΔldhA ΔackA ΔpflB Δ adhE ΔpdhR ::pflBp6-aceEF-lpd ΔmgsA), could generate 4 NADH for every glucose oxidized to two acetyl-CoA through glycolysis and the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. However, EG03 lost its ability for anaerobic growth due to the lack of NADH oxidation pathways. When the butanol pathway genes that encode for acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase (thiL), 3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase (hbd), crotonase (crt), butyryl-CoA dehydrogenase (bcd, etfA, etfB), and butyraldehyde dehydrogenase (adheII) were cloned from Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824, and expressed in E. coli EG03, a balanced NADH oxidation pathway was established for homobutanol fermentation (glucose => 4 NADH + 2 acetyl-CoA => butanol). This strain was able to convert glucose to butanol (1,254 mg l(-1)) under anaerobic condition.