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Engineering of Bacillus subtilis for Enhanced Total Synthesis of Folic Acid

  • T. Zhu
  • Z. Pan
  • N. Domagalski
  • R. Koepsel
  • M. M. Ataai
  • M. M. Domach
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2005
  • Biology


We investigated whether the yield of the B vitamin folic acid could be elevated in Bacillus subtilis. Strategies for increasing the folic acid yield were investigated by employing computer-aided flux analysis and mutation. Controlling the activity of the enzyme pyruvate kinase by placing it under inducible control was one strategy devised to elevate yield while insuring that a rapid growth rate results. Other single mutation strategies included amplifying the expression of the genes in the folate operon and overexpressing the Escherichia coli aroH gene, which encodes 2-dehydro-3-deoxyphosphoheptonate aldolase. The latter could conceivably elevate the abundance of the folic acid precursor, para-aminobenzoic acid. Strains that combined two or more mutations were also constructed. Overall, a strain possessing inducible pyruvate kinase, overexpressed aroH, and increased transcription and translation of genes from the folic operon exhibited the best yield. The yield was eightfold higher than that displayed by the parent B. subtilis 168 strain.

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