Production of Sphingolipids By Metabolically Engineered Escherichia coli

Authors: 
Ha, J. Y., Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Sphingolipids are active compounds that can be used as cosmetic ingredients. Previously, they are extracted from animals, but some issues has been raised for the animal derived cosmetic ingredients like bovine spongiform encephalopathy contamination. Thus, the alternative ways to produce sphingolipid compounds apart from animal based production are needed to be developed. Through this study, we suggest a sphingolipid biosynthetic pathway by introducing heterologous enzymes related to sphingolipid production into Escherichia coli. First, the expressions of heterologous enzymes were tested, and sphingolipids production was confirmed by flask cultivation supplementing L-serine and palmitic acid. After the confirmation, the serine and palmitoyl-CoA production pathway was metabolically engineered to produce sphingolipids from glucose as a sole carbon source. As a result, sphingolipids were successfully synthesized from glucose in E. coli.  [This work was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes on Systems Metabolic Engineering for Biorefineries from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (NRF-2012M1A2A2026556 and NRF-2012M1A2A2026557).].