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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Combinatorial biosynthesis of flavones and flavonols in Escherichia coli.

(2S)-Flavanones (naringenin and pinocembrin) are key intermediates in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway in plants. Recombinant Escherichia coli cells containing four genes for a phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, cinnamate/coumarate:CoA ligase, chalcone synthase, and chalcone isomerase, in addition to the acetyl-CoA carboxylase, have been established for efficient production of (2S)-naringenin from tyrosine and (2S)-pinocembrin from phenylalanine. Further introduction of the flavone synthase I gene from Petroselinum crispum under the control of the T7 promoter and the synthetic ribosome-binding sequence in pACYCDuet-1 caused the E. coli cells to produce flavones: apigenin (13 mg/l) from tyrosine and chrysin (9.4 mg/l) from phenylalanine. Introduction into the E. coli cells of the flavanone 3beta-hydroxylase and flavonol synthase genes from the plant Citrus species led to production of flavonols: kaempferol (15.1 mg/l) from tyrosine and galangin (1.1 mg/l) from phenylalanine. The combinatorial biosynthesis of the flavones and flavonols in E. coli is promising for the construction of a library of various flavonoid compounds and un-natural flavonoids in bacteria.[1]


  1. Combinatorial biosynthesis of flavones and flavonols in Escherichia coli. Miyahisa, I., Funa, N., Ohnishi, Y., Martens, S., Moriguchi, T., Horinouchi, S. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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