NADPH is an essential cofactor for the biosynthesis of several high-value chemicals, including isoprenoids, fatty acid-based fuels, and biopolymers. Tunable control over all potentially rate-limiting steps, including the NADPH regeneration rate, is crucial to maximizing production titers. We have rationally engineered a synthetic version of the Entner-Doudoroff pathway from Zymomonas mobilis that increased the NADPH regeneration rate in Escherichia coli MG1655 by 25-fold. To do this, we combined systematic design rules, biophysical models, and computational optimization to design synthetic bacterial operons expressing the 5-enzyme pathway, while eliminating undesired genetic elements for maximum expression control. NADPH regeneration rates from genome-integrated pathways were estimated using a NADPH-binding fluorescent reporter and by the productivity of a NADPH-dependent terpenoid biosynthesis pathway. We designed and constructed improved pathway variants by employing the RBS Library Calculator to efficiently search the 5-dimensional enzyme expression space and by performing 40 cycles of MAGE for site-directed genome mutagenesis. 624 pathway variants were screened using a NADPH-dependent blue fluorescent protein, and 22 were further characterized to determine the relationship between enzyme expression levels and NADPH regeneration rates. The best variant exhibited 25-fold higher normalized mBFP levels when compared to wild-type strain. Combining the synthetic Entner-Doudoroff pathway with an optimized terpenoid pathway further increased the terpenoid titer by 97%. coli genome.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology