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Establishment of Novel Biosynthetic Pathways for the Production of Salicyl Alcohol and Gentisyl Alcohol in Engineered Escherichia coli

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journal contribution
posted on 23.03.2018, 00:00 by Xiaolin Shen, Jia Wang, Bradley K. Gall, Eric M. Ferreira, Qipeng Yuan, Yajun Yan
Salicyl alcohol and gentisyl alcohol are two important phenolic alcohols that possess significant biological activities and pharmaceutical properties. Here, we report establishment of novel biosynthetic pathways for microbial production of salicyl alcohol and gentisyl alcohol from renewable feedstocks. We first examined the promiscuity of the carboxylic acid reductase CAR toward salicylic acid and 2,5-DHBA, which enabled efficient synthesis of salicyl alcohol and gentisyl alcohol. Then, we employed a novel salicylic acid 5-hydroxylase to achieve 2,5-DHBA production from salicylic acid. After that, the de novo biosynthetic pathways were assembled and optimized by programming the carbon flux into the shikimate pathway. The final titers of salicyl alcohol and gentisyl alcohol reached to 594.4 mg/L and 30.1 mg/L, respectively. To our knowledge, this work achieved microbial production of salicyl alcohol and gentisyl alcohol for the first time. Our present study also demonstrated application of enzyme promiscuity to establish non-natural biosynthetic pathways for the production of high-value compounds.