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Microb Cell Fact. 2011 Sep 30;10:75. doi: 10.1186/1475-2859-10-75.

Real-time monitoring of intracellular wax ester metabolism.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland. suvi.santala@tut.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Wax esters are industrially relevant molecules exploited in several applications of oleochemistry and food industry. At the moment, the production processes mostly rely on chemical synthesis from rather expensive starting materials, and therefore solutions are sought from biotechnology. Bacterial wax esters are attractive alternatives, and especially the wax ester metabolism of Acinetobacter sp. has been extensively studied. However, the lack of suitable tools for rapid and simple monitoring of wax ester metabolism in vivo has partly restricted the screening and analyses of potential hosts and optimal conditions.

RESULTS:

Based on sensitive and specific detection of intracellular long-chain aldehydes, specific intermediates of wax ester synthesis, bacterial luciferase (LuxAB) was exploited in studying the wax ester metabolism in Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1. Luminescence was detected in the cultivation of the strain producing wax esters, and the changes in signal levels could be linked to corresponding cell growth and wax ester synthesis phases.

CONCLUSIONS:

The monitoring system showed correlation between wax ester synthesis pattern and luminescent signal. The system shows potential for real-time screening purposes and studies on bacterial wax esters, revealing new aspects to dynamics and role of wax ester metabolism in bacteria.

PMID:
21961954
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3195709
Free PMC Article

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