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Metabolic engineering

Metabolic engineering of the E. coli L-phenylalanine pathway for the production of D-phenylglycine (D-Phg).


PMID 16466681

Abstract

D-phenylglycine (D-Phg) is an important side chain building block for semi-synthetic penicillins and cephalosporins such as ampicillin and cephalexin. To produce d-Phg ultimately from glucose, metabolic engineering was applied. Starting from phenylpyruvate, which is the direct precursor of L-phenylalanine, an artificial D-Phg biosynthesis pathway was created. This three-step route is composed of the enzymes hydroxymandelate synthase (HmaS), hydroxymandelate oxidase (Hmo), and the stereoinverting hydroxyphenylglycine aminotransferase (HpgAT). Together they catalyse the conversion of phenylpyruvate via mandelate and phenylglyoxylate to D-Phg. The corresponding genes were obtained from Amycolatopsis orientalis, Streptomyces coelicolor, and Pseudomonas putida. Combined expression of these activities in E. coli strains optimized for the production of L-phenylalanine resulted in the first completely fermentative production of D-Phg.

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