An engineered Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle for carbon dioxide fixation in Methylobacterium extorquens AM1

von Borzyskowski, L. S., Carrillo, M., Leupold, S., Glatter, T., Kiefer, P., Weishaupt, R., Heinemann, M. & Erb, T. J., May-2018, In : Metabolic Engineering. 47, p. 423-433

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Lennart Schada von Borzyskowski
  • Martina Carrillo
  • Simeon Leupold
  • Timo Glatter
  • Patrick Kiefer
  • Ramon Weishaupt
  • Matthias Heinemann
  • Tobias J Erb

Organisms are either heterotrophic or autotrophic, meaning that they cover their carbon requirements by assimilating organic compounds or by fixing inorganic carbon dioxide (CO2). The conversion of a heterotrophic organism into an autotrophic one by metabolic engineering is a long-standing goal in synthetic biology and biotechnology, because it ultimately allows for the production of value-added compounds from CO2. The heterotrophic Alphaproteobacterium Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 is a platform organism for a future C1-based bioeconomy. Here we show that M. extorquens AM1 provides unique advantages for establishing synthetic autotrophy, because energy metabolism and biomass formation can be effectively separated from each other in the organism. We designed and realized an engineered strain of M. extorquens AM1 that can use the C1 compound methanol for energy acquisition and forms biomass from CO2 by implementation of a heterologous Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle. We demonstrate that the heterologous CBB cycle is active, confers a distinct phenotype, and strongly increases viability of the engineered strain. Metabolic 13C-tracer analysis demonstrates the functional operation of the heterologous CBB cycle in M. extorquens AM1 and comparative proteomics of the engineered strain show that the host cell reacts to the implementation of the CBB cycle in a plastic way. While the heterologous CBB cycle is not able to support full autotrophic growth of M. extorquens AM1, our study represents a further advancement in the design and realization of synthetic autotrophic organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-433
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Early online date4-Apr-2018
Publication statusPublished - May-2018


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