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Synthetic redesign of central carbon and redox metabolism for high yield production of N-acetylglucosamine in Bacillus subtilis

Gu, Yang, Lv, Xueqin, Liu, Yanfeng, Li, Jianghua, Du, Guocheng, Chen, Jian, Rodrigo, Ledesma-Amaro, Liu, Long
Metabolic engineering 2019 v.51 pp. 59-69
Bacillus subtilis, N-acetylglucosamine, NAD (coenzyme), acetyl coenzyme A, byproducts, carbon, carbon metabolism, culture flasks, energy, gene overexpression, genes, glucose, metabolic engineering
One of the primary goals of microbial metabolic engineering is to achieve high titer, yield and productivity (TYP) of engineered strains. This TYP index requires optimized carbon flux toward desired molecule with minimal by-product formation. De novo redesign of central carbon and redox metabolism holds great promise to alleviate pathway bottleneck and improve carbon and energy utilization efficiency. The engineered strain, with the overexpression or deletion of multiple genes, typically can’t meet the TYP index, due to overflow of central carbon and redox metabolism that compromise the final yield, despite a high titer or productivity might be achieved. To solve this challenge, we reprogramed the central carbon and redox metabolism of Bacillus subtilis and achieved high TYP production of N-acetylglucosamine. Specifically, a “push–pull–promote” approach efficiently reduced the overflown acetyl-CoA flux and eliminated byproduct formation. Four synthetic NAD(P)-independent metabolic routes were introduced to rewire the redox metabolism to minimize energy loss. Implementation of these genetic strategies led us to obtain a B. subtilis strain with superior TYP index. GlcNAc titer in shake flask was increased from 6.6 g L−1 to 24.5 g L−1, the yield was improved from 0.115 to 0.468 g GlcNAc g−1 glucose, and the productivity was increased from 0.274 to 0.437 g L−1 h−1. These titer and yield are the highest levels ever reported and, the yield reached 98% of the theoretical pathway yield (0.478 g g−1 glucose). The synthetic redesign of carbon metabolism and redox metabolism represent a novel and general metabolic engineering strategy to improve the performance of microbial cell factories.