Heterologous caffeic acid biosynthesis in Escherichia coli is affected by choice of tyrosine ammonia lyase and redox partners for bacterial Cytochrome P450.


Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA. [Email]


BACKGROUND : Caffeic acid is industrially recognized for its antioxidant activity and therefore its potential to be used as an anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiviral, antidiabetic and antidepressive agent. It is traditionally isolated from lignified plant material under energy-intensive and harsh chemical extraction conditions. However, over the last decade bottom-up biosynthesis approaches in microbial cell factories have been established, that have the potential to allow for a more tailored and sustainable production. One of these approaches has been implemented in Escherichia coli and only requires a two-step conversion of supplemented L-tyrosine by the actions of a tyrosine ammonia lyase and a bacterial Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase. Although the feeding of intermediates demonstrated the great potential of this combination of heterologous enzymes compared to others, no de novo synthesis of caffeic acid from glucose has been achieved utilizing the bacterial Cytochrome P450 thus far.
RESULTS : The herein described work aimed at improving the efficiency of this two-step conversion in order to establish de novo caffeic acid formation from glucose. We implemented alternative tyrosine ammonia lyases that were reported to display superior substrate binding affinity and selectivity, and increased the efficiency of the Cytochrome P450 by altering the electron-donating redox system. With this strategy we were able to achieve final titers of more than 300 µM or 47 mg/L caffeic acid over 96 h in an otherwise wild type E. coli MG1655(DE3) strain with glucose as the only carbon source. We observed that the choice and gene dose of the redox system strongly influenced the Cytochrome P450 catalysis. In addition, we were successful in applying a tethering strategy that rendered even a virtually unproductive Cytochrome P450/redox system combination productive.
CONCLUSIONS : The caffeic acid titer achieved in this study is about 10% higher than titers reported for other heterologous caffeic acid pathways in wildtype E. coli without L-tyrosine supplementation. The tethering strategy applied to the Cytochrome P450 appears to be particularly useful for non-natural Cytochrome P450/redox partner combinations and could be useful for other recombinant pathways utilizing bacterial Cytochromes P450.


Caffeic acid,Cytochrome P450,PUPPET,Recombinant pathway,Tethering,

OUR Recent Articles