Background: Most microorganisms have evolved to maximize growth rate, with rapid consumption of carbon sources from the surroundings. However, fast growing phenotypes usually feature secretion of organic compounds. For example, E. coli mainly produced acetate in fast growing condition such as glucose rich and aerobic condition, which is troublesome for metabolic engineering because acetate causes acidification of surroundings, growth inhibition and decline of production yield. The overflow metabolism can be alleviated by reducing glucose uptake rate. Results: As glucose transporters or their subunits were knocked out in E. coli, the growth and glucose uptake rates decreased and biomass yield was improved. Alteration of intracellular metabolism caused by the mutations was investigated with transcriptome analysis and 13C metabolic flux analysis (13C MFA). Various transcriptional and metabolic perturbations were identified in the sugar transporter mutants. Transcription of genes related to glycolysis, chemotaxis, and flagella synthesis was downregulated, and that of gluconeogenesis, Krebs cycle, alternative transporters, quorum sensing, and stress induced proteins was upregulated in the sugar transporter mutants. The specific production yields of value-added compounds (enhanced green fluorescent protein, γ-aminobutyrate, lycopene) were improved significantly in the sugar transporter mutants. Conclusions: The elimination of sugar transporter resulted in alteration of global gene expression and redirection of carbon flux distribution, which was purposed to increase energy yield and recycle carbon sources. When the pathways for several valuable compounds were introduced to mutant strains, specific yield of them were highly improved. These results showed that controlling the sugar uptake rate is a good strategy for ameliorating metabolite production.
- C Metabolic flux analysis
- Enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)
- Sugar transporters
- Transcriptome analysis
- γ-Aminobutyrate (GABA)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology