Significantly improved solvent tolerance of Escherichia coli by global transcription machinery engineering

Significantly improved solvent tolerance of Escherichia coli by global transcription machinery engineering

Background

Escherichia coli has emerged as a promising platform microorganism to produce biofuels and fine chemicals of industrial interests. Certain obstacles however remain to be overcome, among which organic-solvent tolerance is a crucial one.

Results

We used global transcription machinery engineering (gTME) to improve the organic-solvent tolerance (OST) of E. coli JM109. A mutant library of σ 70 encoded by rpoD was screened under cyclohexane pressure. E. coli JM109 strain harboring σ 70 mutant C9 was identified with capability of tolerating 69 % cyclohexane. The rpoD mutant contains three amino-acid substitutes and a stop-codon mutation, resulting a truncated sequence containing regions σ 1.1 and σ 1.2 . Total protein difference produced by E. coli JM109 strain harboring C9 was examined with 2D-PAGE, and 204 high-abundant proteins showed over twofold variation under different solvent stress.

Conclusions

Our results show that several genes (gapA, sdhB, pepB and dppA) play critical roles in enhanced solvent tolerance of E. coli, mainly involving in maintaining higher intracellular energy level under solvent stress. Global transcription machinery engineering is therefore a feasible and efficient approach for engineering strain with enhanced OST-phenotype.

 

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