Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol.117, No.11, 3499-3507, 2020
Extension of cell membrane boosting squalene production in the engineeredEscherichia coli
Squalene is a lipophilic and non-volatile triterpene with many industrial applications for food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Metabolic engineering focused on optimization of the production pathway suffer from little success in improving titers because of a limited space of the cell membrane accommodating the lipophilic product. Extension of cell membrane would be a promising approach to overcome the storage limitation for successful production of squalene. In this study,Escherichia coliwas engineered for squalene production by overexpression of some membrane proteins. The highest production of 612 mg/L was observed in the engineeredE.coliwith overexpression of Tsr, a serine chemoreceptor protein, which induced invagination of inner membrane to form multilayered structure. It was also observed an increase in unsaturated fatty acid in membrane lipids composition, suggesting cellular response to maintain membrane fluidity against squalene accumulation in the engineered strain. This study potentiates the capability ofE. colifor squalene production and provides an effective strategy for the enhanced production of such compounds.