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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Jan 17;83(3). pii: e02638-16. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02638-16. Print 2017 Feb 1.

Enhanced Glucose Consumption and Organic Acid Production by Engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum Based on Analysis of a pfkB1 Deletion Mutant.

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Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, Kyoto, Japan.
Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, Kyoto, Japan
Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara, Japan.


In the analysis of a carbohydrate metabolite pathway, we found interesting phenotypes in a mutant strain of Corynebacterium glutamicum deficient in pfkB1, which encodes fructose-1-phosphate kinase. After being aerobically cultivated with fructose as a carbon source, this mutant consumed glucose and produced organic acid, predominantly l-lactate, at a level more than 2-fold higher than that of the wild-type grown with glucose under conditions of oxygen deprivation. This considerably higher fermentation capacity was unique for the combination of pfkB1 deletion and cultivation with fructose. In the metabolome and transcriptome analyses of this strain, marked intracellular accumulation of fructose-1-phosphate and significant upregulation of several genes related to the phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase system, glycolysis, and organic acid synthesis were identified. We then examined strains overexpressing several of the identified genes and demonstrated enhanced glucose consumption and organic acid production by these engineered strains, whose values were found to be comparable to those of the model pfkB1 deletion mutant grown with fructose. l-Lactate production by the ppc deletion mutant of the engineered strain was 2,390 mM (i.e., 215 g/liter) after 48 h under oxygen deprivation, which was a 2.7-fold increase over that of the wild-type strain with a deletion of ppc IMPORTANCE: Enhancement of glycolytic flux is important for improving microbiological production of chemicals, but overexpression of glycolytic enzymes has often resulted in little positive effect. That is presumably because the central carbon metabolism is under the complex and strict regulation not only transcriptionally but also posttranscriptionally, for example, by the ATP/ADP ratio. In contrast, we studied a mutant strain of Corynebacterium glutamicum that showed markedly enhanced glucose consumption and organic acid production and, based on the findings, identified several genes whose overexpression was effective in enhancing glycolytic flux under conditions of oxygen deprivation. These results will further understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of glycolytic flux and can be widely applied to the improvement of the microbial production of useful chemicals.


Corynebacterium glutamicum; fructose metabolism; fructose-1-phosphate kinase; organic acid production; overexpression of glycolytic genes; regulation of glycolytic flux

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