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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2012 May;109(5):1347-52. doi: 10.1002/bit.24398. Epub 2012 Jan 2.

Identification of a 21 amino acid peptide conferring 3-hydroxypropionic acid stress-tolerance to Escherichia coli.

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  • 1OPX Biotechnologies, Boulder, Colorado 80301, USA.


We report the identification of a novel small open reading frame in Escherichia coli. The sORF (called iroK) encodes a 21 amino cid peptide, which when translated confers a 133% (ca. 20 g/L) increase in resistance to 3-hydroxypropionic acid. We show that iroK conferred tolerance is additive to previously identified tolerance mechanisms involving relief of inhibited metabolism, yet does not involve altered 3-HP transport. This result demonstrates the continued surprises that microbial genomes hold and emphasize the importance of comprehensive discovery methods in future strain and metabolic engineering efforts.

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