Heterologous production of a sesquiterpene in Escherichia coli

Ly Thi Bich Thuy, Nguyen Duc Bach, Frank Hannemann, Rita Bernhardt


Sesquiterpenes are a class of terpenes that consist of three isoprene units, with the molecular formula C15H24. They are common constituents of essential oils in plants and have been exploited as traditional medicines, spices, perfumes and flavorings. In nature, these compounds often exit in small quantities. Extracting them from plant requires a consumption of large amounts of natural resources, suffers low yields and impurities. Moreover, synthesis of these structural complex compounds by chemical processes usually requires difficult conditions, high cost and environmental hazards. To avoid these limitations, a new approach is using microorganisms, which are easy for manipulation to produce desired natural products by introducing a heterologous biosynthetic pathway into the host. Previously, gene coding a sesquiterpene cyclase from the myxobacteria Sorangium cellulosum So ce56 has been cloned and expressed in E. coli. However, the enzyme product seems to be a novel compound, which is not included in the database of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) yet. In order to obtain sufficient amount of the sesquiterpene product for further analysis as well as application, this work investigates the production of this compound in E. coli. Genes coding for the mevalonate pathway from Streptomyces was co-expressed with gene coding for the sesquiterpene cyclase from the myxobacteria. The initial results showed that the highest yield of the desired sesquiterpene product reached 0.5 mg/50 ml culture medium.


Escherichia coli, heterologous production, MVA pathway, MEP pathway, sesquiterpene, terpene cyclase.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15625/0866-7160/v37n1se.6096 Display counter: Abstract : 102 views. Untitled : 36 views.


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