Efficient biosynthesis of (R)-mandelic acid from styrene oxide by an adaptive evolutionary Gluconobacter oxydans STA

Biotechnol Biofuels Bioprod. 2023 Jan 13;16(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s13068-023-02258-7.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: (R)-mandelic acid (R-MA) is a highly valuable hydroxyl acid in the pharmaceutical industry. However, biosynthesis of optically pure R-MA remains significant challenges, including the lack of suitable catalysts and high toxicity to host strains. Adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) was a promising and powerful strategy to obtain specially evolved strains.

RESULTS: Herein, we report a new cell factory of the Gluconobacter oxydans to biocatalytic styrene oxide into R-MA by utilizing the G. oxydans endogenous efficiently incomplete oxidization and the epoxide hydrolase (SpEH) heterologous expressed in G. oxydans. With a new screened strong endogenous promoter P12780, the production of R-MA was improved to 10.26 g/L compared to 7.36 g/L of using Plac. As R-MA showed great inhibition for the reaction and toxicity to cell growth, adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) strategy was introduced to improve the cellular R-MA tolerance. The adapted strain that can tolerate 6 g/L R-MA was isolated (named G. oxydans STA), while the wild-type strain cannot grow under this stress. The conversion rate was increased from 0.366 g/L/h of wild type to 0.703 g/L/h by the recombinant STA, and the final R-MA titer reached 14.06 g/L. Whole-genome sequencing revealed multiple gene-mutations in STA, in combination with transcriptome analysis under R-MA stress condition, we identified five critical genes that were associated with R-MA tolerance, among which AcrA overexpression could further improve R-MA titer to 15.70 g/L, the highest titer reported from bulk styrene oxide substrate.

CONCLUSIONS: The microbial engineering with systematic combination of static regulation, ALE, and transcriptome analysis strategy provides valuable solutions for high-efficient chemical biosynthesis, and our evolved G. oxydans would be better to serve as a chassis cell for hydroxyl acid production.

PMID:36639820 | PMC:PMC9838050 | DOI:10.1186/s13068-023-02258-7

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