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Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for the production of 2′-fucosyllactose and 3-fucosyllactose through modular pathway enhancement

Huang, Di, Yang, Kexin, Liu, Jia, Xu, Yingying, Wang, Yuanyuan, Wang, Ru, Liu, Bin, Feng, Lu
Metabolic engineering 2017 v.41 pp. 23-38
Bifidobacterium, Escherichia coli, Helicobacter pylori, additives, biosynthesis, breast milk, host strains, immune response, infant formulas, lactose, metabolic engineering, pathogens, synthetic biology
Fucosyllactoses, including 2′-fucosyllactose (2′-FL) and 3-fucosyllactose (3-FL), are important oligosaccharides in human milk that are commonly used as nutritional additives in infant formula due to their biological functions, such as the promotion of bifidobacteria growth, inhibition of pathogen infection, and improvement of immune response. In this study, we developed a synthetic biology approach to promote the efficient biosynthesis of 2′-FL and 3-FL in engineered Escherichia coli. To boost the production of 2′-FL and 3-FL, multiple modular optimization strategies were applied in a plug-and-play manner. First, comparisons of various exogenous α1,2-fucosyltransferase and α1,3-fucosyltransferase candidates, as well as a series of E. coli host strains, demonstrated that futC and futA from Helicobacter pylori using BL21(DE3) as the host strain yielded the highest titers of 2′-FL and 3-FL. Subsequently, both the availability of the lactose acceptor substrate and the intracellular pool of the GDP-L-fucose donor substrate were optimized by inactivating competitive (or repressive) pathways and strengthening acceptor (or donor) availability to achieve overproduction. Moreover, the intracellular redox regeneration pathways were engineered to further enhance the production of 2′-FL and 3-FL. Finally, various culture conditions were optimized to achieve the best performance of 2′-FL and 3-FL biosynthesizing strains. The final concentrations of 2′-FL and 3-FL were 9.12 and 12.43g/L, respectively. This work provides a platform that enables modular construction, optimization and characterization to facilitate the development of FL-producing cell factories.