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

Construction and characterization of a 1,3-propanediol operon.

The genes for the production of 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD) in Klebsiella pneumoniae, dhaB, which encodes glycerol dehydratase, and dhaT, which encodes 1,3-PD oxidoreductase, are naturally under the control of two different promoters and are transcribed in different directions. These genes were reconfigured into an operon containing dhaB followed by dhaT under the control of a single promoter. The operon contains unique restriction sites to facilitate replacement of the promoter and other modifications. In a fed-batch cofermentation of glycerol and glucose. Escherichia coli containing the operon consumed 9.3 g of glycerol per liter and produced 6.3 g of 1,3-PD per liter. The fermentation had two distinct phases. In the first phase, significant cell growth occurred and the products were mainly 1,3-PD and acetate. In the second phase, very little growth occurred and the main products were 1,3-PD and pyruvate. The first enzyme in the 1,3-PD pathway, glycerol dehydratase, requires coenzyme B12, which must be provided in E. coli fermentations. However, the amount of coenzyme B12 needed was quite small, with 10 nM sufficient for good 1,3-PD production in batch cofermentations. 1,3-PD is a useful intermediate in the production of polyesters. The 1,3-PD operon was designed so that it can be readily modified for expression in other prokaryotic hosts; therefore, it is useful for metabolic engineering of 1,3-PD pathways from glycerol and other substrates such as glucose.[1]


  1. Construction and characterization of a 1,3-propanediol operon. Skraly, F.A., Lytle, B.L., Cameron, D.C. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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