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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008 Jan;77(5):1053-62. Epub 2007 Oct 27.

Engineering of an L-arabinose metabolic pathway in Corynebacterium glutamicum.

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  • 1Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, 9-2 Kizugawadai, Kizugawa, Kyoto, 619-0292, Japan.


Corynebacterium glutamicum was metabolically engineered to broaden its substrate utilization range to include the pentose sugar L-arabinose, a product of the degradation of lignocellulosic biomass. The resultant CRA1 recombinant strain expressed the Escherichia coli genes araA, araB, and araD encoding L-arabinose isomerase, L-ribulokinase, and L-ribulose-5-phosphate 4-epimerase, respectively, under the control of a constitutive promoter. Unlike the wild-type strain, CRA1 was able to grow on mineral salts medium containing L-arabinose as the sole carbon and energy source. The three cloned genes were expressed to the same levels whether cells were cultured in the presence of D-glucose or L-arabinose. Under oxygen deprivation and with L-arabinose as the sole carbon and energy source, strain CRA1 carbon flow was redirected to produce up to 40, 37, and 11%, respectively, of the theoretical yields of succinic, lactic, and acetic acids. Using a sugar mixture containing 5% D-glucose and 1% L-arabinose under oxygen deprivation, CRA1 cells metabolized L-arabinose at a constant rate, resulting in combined organic acids yield based on the amount of sugar mixture consumed after D-glucose depletion (83%) that was comparable to that before D-glucose depletion (89%). Strain CRA1 is, therefore, able to utilize L-arabinose as a substrate for organic acid production even in the presence of D-glucose.

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