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Open AccessArticle

Production of the Marine Carotenoid Astaxanthin by Metabolically Engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum

Genetics of Prokaryotes, Faculty of Biology & CeBiTec, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld D-33615, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current Address: GSK Vaccines S.r.l., Siena 53100, Italy
Academic Editor: Tatsuya Sugawara
Mar. Drugs 2016, 14(7), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/md14070124
Received: 16 May 2016 / Revised: 22 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Marine Carotenoids)
Astaxanthin, a red C40 carotenoid, is one of the most abundant marine carotenoids. It is currently used as a food and feed additive in a hundred-ton scale and is furthermore an attractive component for pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications with antioxidant activities. Corynebacterium glutamicum, which naturally synthesizes the yellow C50 carotenoid decaprenoxanthin, is an industrially relevant microorganism used in the million-ton amino acid production. In this work, engineering of a genome-reduced C. glutamicum with optimized precursor supply for astaxanthin production is described. This involved expression of heterologous genes encoding for lycopene cyclase CrtY, β-carotene ketolase CrtW, and hydroxylase CrtZ. For balanced expression of crtW and crtZ their translation initiation rates were varied in a systematic approach using different ribosome binding sites, spacing, and translational start codons. Furthermore, β-carotene ketolases and hydroxylases from different marine bacteria were tested with regard to efficient astaxanthin production in C. glutamicum. In shaking flasks, the C. glutamicum strains developed here overproduced astaxanthin with volumetric productivities up to 0.4 mg·L−1·h−1 which are competitive with current algae-based production. Since C. glutamicum can grow to high cell densities of up to 100 g cell dry weight (CDW)·L−1, the recombinant strains developed here are a starting point for astaxanthin production by C. glutamicum. View Full-Text
Keywords: astaxanthin production; carotenoids; genome-reduced Corynebacterium glutamicum; systematic approach; metabolic engineering astaxanthin production; carotenoids; genome-reduced Corynebacterium glutamicum; systematic approach; metabolic engineering
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Henke, N.A.; Heider, S.A.E.; Peters-Wendisch, P.; Wendisch, V.F. Production of the Marine Carotenoid Astaxanthin by Metabolically Engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum. Mar. Drugs 2016, 14, 124.

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