Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for de novo biosynthesis of vitamin B12

Huan Fang, Dong Li, Jie Kang, Pingtao Jiang, Jibin Sun & Dawei Zhang

The only known source of vitamin B12 (adenosylcobalamin) is from bacteria and archaea. Here, using genetic and metabolic engineering, we generate an Escherichia coli strain that produces vitamin B12 via an engineered de novo aerobic biosynthetic pathway. In vitro and/or in vivo analysis of genes involved in adenosylcobinamide phosphate biosynthesis from Rhodobacter capsulatus suggest that the biosynthetic steps from co(II)byrinic acid a,c-diamide to adocobalamin are the same in both the aerobic and anaerobic pathways. Finally, we increase the vitamin B12 yield of a recombinant E. coli strain by more than ∼250-fold to 307.00 µg g−1 DCW via metabolic engineering and optimization of fermentation conditions. Beyond our demonstration of E. coli as a microbial biosynthetic platform for vitamin B12 production, our study offers an encouraging example of how the several dozen proteins of a complex biosynthetic pathway can be transferred between organisms to facilitate industrial production.

Read the full article in Nature Communications

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