Engineering Escherichia coli for the production of adipic acid through the reversed β-oxidation pathway

Thirumalaisamy Babu, Eun Ju Yun, Sooah Kim, Do Hyoung Kim, Kwang Hyeon Liu, Soo Rin Kim, Kyoung Heon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The current study aimed to construct a functionally reversed β-oxidation cycle in Escherichia coli for the production of adipic acid, one of the most important dicarboxylic acids. Starting from the condensation of acetyl-CoA and succinyl-CoA, a synthetic pathway mimicking a reversed β-oxidation cycle was constructed in E. coli to produce adipyl-CoA, consisting of four enzymatic steps. Products of the synthetic pathway were confirmed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. To convert adipyl-CoA into adipic acid, a putative adipyl-CoA thioesterase (encoded by Acot8 from Mus musculus) was selected, and its functional expression in E. coli was confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Finally, when the reversed β-oxidation cycle and Acot8 were co-expressed in E. coli, the resulting strain produced 12 μg/L of adipic acid from glucose. These results suggest that the synthetic adipic acid pathway functions in E. coli but requires further optimization for increased production of adipic acid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2066-2071
Number of pages6
JournalProcess Biochemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1


  • Acetyl-CoA
  • Acot8
  • Adipic acid
  • Dicarboxylic acid
  • Succinyl-CoA
  • β-Oxidation cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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