(766f) A Reverse Glyoxylate Shunt to Build a Non-Native Route From C4 to C2 in E. Coli
AIChE Annual Meeting
Friday, November 8, 2013 - 10:00am to 10:18am
Most central metabolic pathways such as glycolysis, fatty acid synthesis, and the TCA cycle have complementary pathways that run in the reverse direction to allow flexible storage and utilization of resources. However, the glyoxylate shunt, which allows for the synthesis of four-carbon TCA cycle intermediates from acetyl-CoA, has not been found to be reversible to date. As a result, acetyl-CoA can only be produced by decarboxylation of the three-carbon molecule pyruvate in heterotrophs. A reverse glyoxylate shunt (rGS) could be extended into a pathway that converts C4 carboxylates into two molecules of acetyl-CoA without loss of CO2. Here, as a proof of concept, we engineered in E. coli such a pathway to convert malate and succinate to oxaloacetate and two molecules of acetyl-CoA. We introduced ATP-coupled heterologous enzymes at the thermodynamically unfavorable steps to drive the pathway in the desired direction. This synthetic pathway in essence reverses the glyoxylate shunt at the expense of ATP. When integrated with central metabolism, this pathway has the potential to increase the carbon yield of acetate and biofuels from many carbon sources in heterotrophic microorganisms, and could be the basis of novel carbon fixation cycles.