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Engineering improved ethylene production: Leveraging systems Biology and adaptive laboratory evolution

Vaud, S; Pearcy, N; Hanževački, M; Van Hagen, AMW; Abdelrazig, S; Safo, L; Ehsaan, M; ... Bryan, SJ; + view all (2021) Engineering improved ethylene production: Leveraging systems Biology and adaptive laboratory evolution. Metabolic Engineering 10.1016/j.ymben.2021.07.001. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Ethylene is a small hydrocarbon gas widely used in the chemical industry. Annual worldwide production currently exceeds 150 million tons, producing considerable amounts of CO2 contributing to climate change. The need for a sustainable alternative is therefore imperative. Ethylene is natively produced by several different microorganisms, including Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola via a process catalyzed by the ethylene forming enzyme (EFE), subsequent heterologous expression of EFE has led to ethylene production in non-native bacterial hosts including E. coli and cyanobacteria. However, solubility of EFE and substrate availability remain rate limiting steps in biological ethylene production. We employed a combination of genome scale metabolic modelling, continuous fermentation, and protein evolution to enable the accelerated development of a high efficiency ethylene producing E. coli strain, yielding a 49-fold increase in production, the most significant improvement reported to date. Furthermore, we have clearly demonstrated that this increased yield resulted from metabolic adaptations that were uniquely linked to the EFE enzyme (WT vs mutant). Our findings provide a novel solution to deregulate metabolic bottlenecks in key pathways, which can be readily applied to address other engineering challenges.

Type: Article
Title: Engineering improved ethylene production: Leveraging systems Biology and adaptive laboratory evolution
Location: Belgium
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ymben.2021.07.001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymben.2021.07.001
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Adaptive evolution, Directed evolution, Fermentation, Metabolic engineering, Systems biology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Biochemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131646
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