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Title: Overcoming substrate limitations for improved production of ethylene in E. coli

Ethylene is an important industrial compound for the production of a wide variety of plastics and chemicals. At present, ethylene production involves steam cracking of a fossil-based feedstock, representing the highest CO2-emitting process in the chemical industry. Biological ethylene production can be achieved via expression of a single protein, the ethylene-forming enzyme (EFE), found in some bacteria and fungi; it has the potential to provide a sustainable alternative to steam cracking, provided that significant increases in productivity can be achieved. A key barrier is determining factors that influence the availability of substrates for the EFE reaction in potential microbial hosts. In the presence of O2, EFE catalyzes ethylene formation from the substrates α-ketoglutarate (AKG) and arginine. The concentrations of AKG, a key TCA cycle intermediate, and arginine are tightly controlled by an intricate regulatory system that coordinates carbon and nitrogen metabolism. Thus, reliably predicting which genetic changes will ultimately lead to increased AKG and arginine availability is challenging.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1754-6834
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biotechnology for Biofuels
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Related Information: Biotechnology for Biofuels; Journal ID: ISSN 1754-6834
BioMed Central
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES ethylene; ethylene-forming enzyme; arginine; α-ketoglutarate; E. coli