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 publicationFuels and Petrochemicals Division - Core Programming Topic at the 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting
PublisherAIChE
Pages394-404
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781618397362
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
EventFuels and Petrochemicals Division - Core Programming Topic at the 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Oct 16 2011Oct 21 2011

Other

OtherFuels and Petrochemicals Division - Core Programming Topic 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 Fuels and Petrochemicals Division - Core Programming Topic at the 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting (pp. 394-404). AIChE.