Alone at last! - Heterologous expression of a single gene is sufficient for establishing the five-step Weimberg pathway in Corynebacterium glutamicum

Christian Brüsseler, Anja Späth, Sascha Sokolowsky, Jan Marienhagen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Abstract

Corynebacterium glutamicum can grow on d-xylose as sole carbon and energy source via the five-step Weimberg pathway when the pentacistronic xylXABCD operon from Caulobacter crescentus is heterologously expressed. More recently, it could be demonstrated that the C. glutamicum wild type accumulates the Weimberg pathway intermediate d-xylonate when cultivated in the presence of d-xylose. Reason for this is the activity of the endogenous dehydrogenase IolG, which can also oxidize d-xylose. This raised the question whether additional endogenous enzymes in C. glutamicum contribute to the catabolization of d-xylose via the Weimberg pathway. In this study, analysis of the C. glutamicum genome in combination with systematic reduction of the heterologous xylXABCD operon revealed that the hitherto unknown and endogenous dehydrogenase KsaD (Cg0535) can also oxidize α-ketoglutarate semialdehyde to the tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate α-ketoglutarate, the final enzymatic step of the Weimberg pathway. Furthermore, heterologous expression of either xylX or xylD, encoding for the two dehydratases of the Weimberg pathway in C. crescentus, is sufficient for enabling C. glutamicum to grow on d-xylose as sole carbon and energy source. Finally, several variants for the carbon-efficient microbial production of α-ketoglutarate from d-xylose were constructed. In comparison to cultivation solely on d-glucose, the best strain accumulated up to 1.5-fold more α-ketoglutarate in d-xylose/d-glucose mixtures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMetabolic engineering communications
Volume9
Number of pages7
ISSN2214-0301
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 201-01 Biochemistry

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