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19 July 2023

Hydroxybenzoic Acid Production Using Metabolically Engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum

Hydroxybenzoic acids (HBAs), including 4-HBA, 3-HBA, and 2-HBA, are valuable platform chemicals for production of commodity materials and fine chemicals. Herein, we employed metabolic engineering techniques to enhance the production of these HBAs in Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 13032. Our approach augmented the shikimate pathway and eliminated genes associated with HBA degradation, particularly phenol 2-monooxygenase encoded by cg2966. Increased titers of 3-HBA and 4-HBA were achieved via selection of suitable promoters for 3-hydroxybenzoate synthase and chorismate pyruvate lyase. A tac-M1 promoter was suitable for chorismate pyruvate lyase expression and 8.3 g/L of 4-HBA production was achieved. Efficient production of 2-HBA was enabled by maintaining a balanced expression of isochorismate synthase and isochorismate pyruvate lyase. Consequently, strains KSD5-tacM1-H and KSD5-J2-PE exhibited production levels of 19.2 g/L of 3-HBA and 12.9 g/L of 2-HBA, respectively, using 1 L jar fermenter containing 80 g/L of glucose. Therefore, this engineered strain platform holds significant potential for production of other valuable products derived from chorismate.

Keywords: Corynebacterium glutamicum; Hydroxybenzoic acid; 2-hydroxybenzoic acid; 3-hydroxybenzoic acid; Metabolic engineering; Chorismate derivatives