Engineering mannitol biosynthesis in Escherichia coli and Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 using a green algal fusion protein

Madsen, M. A., Semerdzhiev, S., Amtmann, A. and Tonon, T. (2018) Engineering mannitol biosynthesis in Escherichia coli and Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 using a green algal fusion protein. ACS Synthetic Biology, 7, pp. 2833-2840. (doi: 10.1021/acssynbio.8b00238) (PMID:30408953)

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The genetic engineering of microbial cell factories is a sustainable alternative to the chemical synthesis of organic compounds. Successful metabolic engineering often depends on manipulating several enzymes, requiring multiple transformation steps and selection markers, as well as protein assembly and efficient substrate channeling. Naturally occurring fusion genes encoding two or more enzymatic functions may offer an opportunity to simplify the engineering process and to generate ready-made protein modules, but their functionality in heterologous systems remains to be tested. Here we show that heterologous expression of a fusion enzyme from the marine alga Micromonas pusilla, comprising a mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase and a mannitol-1-phosphatase, leads to synthesis of mannitol by Escherichia coli and by the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002. Neither of the heterologous systems naturally produce this sugar alcohol, which is widely used in food, pharmaceutical, medical, and chemical industries. While the mannitol production rates obtained by single-gene manipulation were lower than those previously achieved after pathway optimization with multiple genes, our findings show that naturally occurring fusion proteins can offer simple building blocks for the assembly and optimization of recombinant metabolic pathways.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Semerdzhiev, Stefan and Madsen, Miss Mary Ann and Amtmann, Professor Anna
Authors: Madsen, M. A., Semerdzhiev, S., Amtmann, A., and Tonon, T.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:ACS Synthetic Biology
Publisher:American Chemical Society
ISSN (Online):2161-5063
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society
First Published:First published in ACS Synthetic Biology 7:2833-2840
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
740021Exopolysaccharide production in cyanobacteriaAnna AmtmannBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)IBCarb-BIV- 0316-015RI MOLECULAR CELL & SYSTEMS BIOLOGY