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Biochemical Engineering Journal
Volume 179, 2022, 108331

Establishment of a carbon-efficient xylulose cleavage pathway in Escherichia coli to metabolize xylose

Li-Long Shi1, Yuanmin Zheng1, Bi-Wei Tan, Zheng-Jun Li

Beijing Key Laboratory of Bioprocess, College of Life Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China.


As the second-largest storage saccharide in the world, xylose is a promising renewable feedstock in the bio-industry. A few microorganisms can metabolize xylose naturally via the xylose isomerase pathway, Weimberg pathway, or Dahms pathway. In this study, we reported the metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli to achieve the carbon-efficient utilization of xylose through the establishment of a rationally designed xylulose cleavage pathway. With the inactivation of ribulose-phosphate 3-epimerase and expression of exogenous phosphoketolase, the engineered E. coli accumulated acetate as a major byproduct using xylose as the sole carbon source. Furtherly, acetate production pathways were successfully blocked to provide sufficient acetyl-CoA precursor for downstream biosynthesis reactions. Finally, we applied the xylulose cleavage pathway to produce poly-3-hydroxybutyrate. Our proposed metabolic engineering strategies illustrate the feasibility of efficient xylose utilization to produce commodity chemicals.

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