Metabolic engineering of a 1,2-propanediol pathway in Escherichia coli.

Abstract

1,2-Propanediol (1,2-PD) is a major commodity chemical that is currently derived from propylene, a nonrenewable resource. A goal of our research is to develop fermentation routes to 1,2-PD from renewable resources. Here we report the production of enantiomerically pure R-1,2-PD from glucose in Escherichia coli expressing NADH-linked glycerol dehydrogenase genes (E. coli gldA or Klebsiella pneumoniae dhaD). We also show that E. coli overexpressing the E. coli methylglyoxal synthase gene (mgs) produced 1,2-PD. The expression of either glycerol dehydrogenase or methylglyoxal synthase resulted in the anaerobic production of approximately 0.25 g of 1,2-PD per liter. R-1,2-PD production was further improved to 0.7 g of 1,2-PD per liter when methylglyoxal synthase and glycerol dehydrogenase (gldA) were coexpressed. In vitro studies indicated that the route to R-1,2-PD involved the reduction of methylglyoxal to R-lactaldehyde by the recombinant glycerol dehydrogenase and the reduction of R-lactaldehyde to R-1, 2-PD by a native E. coli activity. We expect that R-1,2-PD production can be significantly improved through further metabolic and bioprocess engineering.

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@article{Altaras1999MetabolicEO, title={Metabolic engineering of a 1,2-propanediol pathway in Escherichia coli.}, author={N E Altaras and D C Cameron}, journal={Applied and environmental microbiology}, year={1999}, volume={65 3}, pages={1180-5} }