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Metab Eng. 2003 Jan;5(1):49-55.

Reducing maintenance metabolism by metabolic engineering of respiration improves riboflavin production by Bacillus subtilis.

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Institute of Biotechnology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich, ETH Zürich, Honggerberg, CH-8093, Zürich, Switzerland.


We present redirection of electron flow to more efficient proton pumping branches within respiratory chains as a generally applicable metabolic engineering strategy, which tailors microbial metabolism to the specific requirements of high cell density processes by improving product and biomass yields. For the example of riboflavin production by Bacillus subtilis, we reduced the rate of maintenance metabolism by about 40% in a cytochrome bd oxidase knockout mutant. Since the putative Yth and the caa(3) oxidases were of minor importance, the most likely explanation for this improvement is translocation of two protons per transported electron via the remaining cytochrome aa(3) oxidase, instead of only one proton via the bd oxidase. The reduction of maintenance metabolism, in turn, significantly improved the yield of recombinant riboflavin and B. subtilis biomass in fed-batch cultures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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