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      CO2-fixing one-carbon metabolism in a cellulose-degrading bacteriumClostridium thermocellum

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          Abstract

          Clostridium thermocellum can ferment cellulosic biomass to formate and other end products, including CO2 This organism lacks formate dehydrogenase (Fdh), which catalyzes the reduction of CO2 to formate. However, feeding the bacterium (13)C-bicarbonate and cellobiose followed by NMR analysis showed the production of (13)C-formate in C. thermocellum culture, indicating the presence of an uncharacterized pathway capable of converting CO2 to formate. Combining genomic and experimental data, we demonstrated that the conversion of CO2 to formate serves as a CO2 entry point into the reductive one-carbon (C1) metabolism, and internalizes CO2 via two biochemical reactions: the reversed pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (rPFOR), which incorporates CO2 using acetyl-CoA as a substrate and generates pyruvate, and pyruvate-formate lyase (PFL) converting pyruvate to formate and acetyl-CoA. We analyzed the labeling patterns of proteinogenic amino acids in individual deletions of all five putative PFOR mutants and in a PFL deletion mutant. We identified two enzymes acting as rPFOR, confirmed the dual activities of rPFOR and PFL crucial for CO2 uptake, and provided physical evidence of a distinct in vivo "rPFOR-PFL shunt" to reduce CO2 to formate while circumventing the lack of Fdh. Such a pathway precedes CO2 fixation via the reductive C1 metabolic pathway in C. thermocellum These findings demonstrated the metabolic versatility of C. thermocellum, which is thought of as primarily a cellulosic heterotroph but is shown here to be endowed with the ability to fix CO2 as well.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Recent progress in consolidated bioprocessing.

          Consolidated bioprocessing, or CBP, the conversion of lignocellulose into desired products in one step without added enzymes, has been a subject of increased research effort in recent years. In this review, the economic motivation for CBP is addressed, advances and remaining obstacles for CBP organism development are reviewed, and we comment briefly on fundamental aspects. For CBP organism development beginning with microbes that have native ability to utilize insoluble components of cellulosic biomass, key recent advances include the development of genetic systems for several cellulolytic bacteria, engineering a thermophilic bacterium to produce ethanol at commercially attractive yields and titers, and engineering a cellulolytic microbe to produce butanol. For CBP organism development, beginning with microbes that do not have this ability and thus requiring heterologous expression of a saccharolytic enzyme system, high-yield conversion of model cellulosic substrates and heterologous expression of CBH1 and CBH2 in yeast at levels believed to be sufficient for an industrial process have recently been demonstrated. For both strategies, increased emphasis on realizing high performance under industrial conditions is needed. Continued exploration of the underlying fundamentals of microbial cellulose utilization is likely to be useful in order to guide the choice and development of CBP systems. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            High ethanol titers from cellulose by using metabolically engineered thermophilic, anaerobic microbes.

            This work describes novel genetic tools for use in Clostridium thermocellum that allow creation of unmarked mutations while using a replicating plasmid. The strategy employed counter-selections developed from the native C. thermocellum hpt gene and the Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum tdk gene and was used to delete the genes for both lactate dehydrogenase (Ldh) and phosphotransacetylase (Pta). The Δldh Δpta mutant was evolved for 2,000 h, resulting in a stable strain with 40:1 ethanol selectivity and a 4.2-fold increase in ethanol yield over the wild-type strain. Ethanol production from cellulose was investigated with an engineered coculture of organic acid-deficient engineered strains of both C. thermocellum and T. saccharolyticum. Fermentation of 92 g/liter Avicel by this coculture resulted in 38 g/liter ethanol, with acetic and lactic acids below detection limits, in 146 h. These results demonstrate that ethanol production by thermophilic, cellulolytic microbes is amenable to substantial improvement by metabolic engineering.
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              Synthetic non-oxidative glycolysis enables complete carbon conservation.

              Glycolysis, or its variations, is a fundamental metabolic pathway in life that functions in almost all organisms to decompose external or intracellular sugars. The pathway involves the partial oxidation and splitting of sugars to pyruvate, which in turn is decarboxylated to produce acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) for various biosynthetic purposes. The decarboxylation of pyruvate loses a carbon equivalent, and limits the theoretical carbon yield to only two moles of two-carbon (C2) metabolites per mole of hexose. This native route is a major source of carbon loss in biorefining and microbial carbon metabolism. Here we design and construct a non-oxidative, cyclic pathway that allows the production of stoichiometric amounts of C2 metabolites from hexose, pentose and triose phosphates without carbon loss. We tested this pathway, termed non-oxidative glycolysis (NOG), in vitro and in vivo in Escherichia coli. NOG enables complete carbon conservation in sugar catabolism to acetyl-CoA, and can be used in conjunction with CO2 fixation and other one-carbon (C1) assimilation pathways to achieve a 100% carbon yield to desirable fuels and chemicals.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                November 15 2016
                November 15 2016
                November 15 2016
                October 28 2016
                : 113
                : 46
                : 13180-13185
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.1605482113
                5135332
                27794122
                © 2016

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