Styrene biosynthesis from glucose by engineered E. Coli

Rebekah McKenna, David Nielsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Styrene is a large volume, commodity petrochemical with diverse commercial applications, including as a monomer building-block for the synthesis of many useful polymers. Here we demonstrate how, through the de novo design and development of a novel metabolic pathway, styrene can alternatively be synthesized from renewable substrates such as glucose. The conversion of endogenously synthesized L-phenylalanine to styrene was achieved by the co-expression of phenylalanine ammonia lyase and trans-cinnamate decarboxylase. Candidate isoenzymes for each step were screened from bacterial, yeast, and plant genetic sources. Finally, over-expression of PAL2 from Arabidopsis thaliana and FDC1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (originally classified as ferulate decarboxylase) in an L-phenylalanine over-producing Escherichia coli host led to the accumulation of up to 260 mg/L in shake flask cultures. Achievable titers already approach the styrene toxicity threshold (determined as 300 mg/L). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of microbial styrene production from sustainable feedstocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication1st Annual World Congress on Sustainable Engineering 2011 - Topical Conference at the 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting
PublisherAIChE
Pages370-380
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781618395818
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Event1st Annual World Congress on Sustainable Engineering 2011 - Topical Conference at the 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Oct 16 2011Oct 21 2011

Other

Other1st Annual World Congress on Sustainable Engineering 2011 - Topical Conference at the 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting
CountryUnited States
CityMinneapolis
Period10/16/1110/21/11

Keywords

  • Aromatic
  • Cinnamic acid
  • E. Coli
  • L-Phenylalanine
  • Phenylalanine ammonia lyase
  • Styrene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Health and Safety
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research

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  • Cite this

    McKenna, R., & Nielsen, D. (2011). Styrene biosynthesis from glucose by engineered E. Coli. In 1st Annual World Congress on Sustainable Engineering 2011 - Topical Conference at the 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting (pp. 370-380). AIChE.