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Environ Microbiol. 2001 Oct;3(10):612-8.

Genetically engineered Pseudomonas: a factory of new bioplastics with broad applications.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de León, 24007 León, Spain.


New bioplastics containing aromatic or mixtures of aliphatic and aromatic monomers have been obtained using genetically engineered strains of Pseudomonas putida. The mutation (-) or deletion (Delta) of some of the genes involved in the beta-oxidation pathway (fadA(-), fadB(-) Delta fadA or Delta fad BA mutants) elicits a strong intracellular accumulation of unusual homo- or co-polymers that dramatically alter the morphology of these bacteria, as more than 90% of the cytoplasm is occupied by these macromolecules. The introduction of a blockade in the beta-oxidation pathway, or in other related catabolic routes, has allowed the synthesis of polymers other than those accumulated in the wild type (with regard to both monomer size and relative percentage), the accumulation of certain intermediates that are rapidly catabolized in the wild type and the accumulation in the culture broths of end catabolites that, as in the case of phenylacetic acid, phenylbutyric acid, trans-cinnamic acid or their derivatives, have important medical or pharmaceutical applications (antitumoral, analgesic, radiopotentiators, chemopreventive or antihelmintic). Furthermore, using one of these polyesters (poly 3-hydroxy-6-phenylhexanoate), we obtained polymeric microspheres that could be used as drug vehicles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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