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Efficient production of 3-hydroxypropionate from fatty acids feedstock in Escherichia coli

Liu, Bo, Xiang, Shuman, Zhao, Guang, Wang, Bojun, Ma, Yanhe, Liu, Weifeng, Tao, Yong
Metabolic engineering 2019 v.51 pp. 121-130
Escherichia coli, acetyl coenzyme A, biomass, biosynthesis, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide fixation, fatty acids, feedstocks, fermentation, metabolic engineering, oils
The production of chemicals from renewable biomass resources is usually limited by factors including high-cost processes and low efficiency of biosynthetic pathways. Fatty acids (FAs) are an ideal alternative biomass. Their advantages include high-efficiently producing acetyl-CoA and reducing power, coupling chemical production with CO2 fixation, and the fact that they are readily obtained from inexpensive feedstocks. The important platform chemical 3-hydroxypropionate (3HP) can be produced from FAs as the feedstock with a theoretical yield of 2.49 g/g, much higher than the theoretical yield from other feedstocks. In this study, we first systematically analyzed the limiting factors in FA-utilization pathways in Escherichia coli. Then, we optimized FA utilization in Escherichia coli by using a combination of metabolic engineering and optimization of fermentation conditions. The 3HP biosynthesis module was introduced into a FA-utilizing strain, and the flux balance was finely optimized to maximize 3HP production. The resulting strain was able to produce 3HP from FAs with a yield of 1.56 g/g, and was able to produce 3HP to a concentration of 52 g/L from FAs in a 5-L fermentation process. The strain also could produce 3HP from various type of FAs feedstock including gutter oil. This is the first report of a technique for the efficient production of the platform chemical 3HP from FAs.