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1.  Enhanced Incorporation of 3-Hydroxy-4-Methylvalerate Unit into Biosynthetic Polyhydroxyalkanoate Using Leucine as a Precursor 
AMB Express  2011;1:6.
Ralstonia eutropha PHB-4 expressing Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase 1 (PhaC1Ps) synthesizes PHA copolymer containing 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) and a small amount (0.5 mol%) of 3-hydroxy-4-methylvalerate (3H4MV) from fructose as a carbon source. In this study, enhanced incorporation of 3H4MV into PHA was investigated using branched amino acid leucine as a precursor of 3H4MV. Leucine has the same carbon backbone as 3H4MV and is expected to be a natural and self-producible precursor. We found that the incorporation of 3H4MV was enhanced by the supplementation of excess amount (10 g/L) of leucine in the culture medium. This finding indicates that 3H4MV can be derived from leucine. To increase metabolic flux to leucine biosynthesis in the host strain by eliminating the feedback inhibition, the cells were subjected to N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (NTG) mutagenesis and leucine analog resistant mutants were generated. The mutants showed statistically higher 3H4MV fraction than the parent strain without supplementing leucine. Additionally, by supplying excess amount of leucine, the mutants synthesized 3HB-based PHA copolymer containing 3.1 mol% 3H4MV and 1.2 mol% 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV) as minor constituents, which significantly affected the thermal properties of the copolymer. This study demonstrates that it is possible to enhance the monomer supply of 3H4MV into PHA by manipulating leucine metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3159905  PMID: 21906338
polyhydroxyalkanoate; copolymer; 3H4MV precursor; leucine analog resistant mutant

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