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Bioengineering Of Polyhydroxyalkanoates

Seiichi Taguchi
Published 2017 · Materials Science

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Establishment of a renewable whole-cell catalyst platform for the production of biobased polymeric materials is an important area of synthetic biology. In this article, the fundamental properties of natural polyesters polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), bearing a structural variety of over 160 monomeric constituents, are explained especially in terms of structure and function. Based on the strategic pathway engineering, successful bioengineering of PHAs is introduced together with several case studies on monomer-supplying routes and PHA synthase enzyme alteration. Particularly, the effectiveness of engineering PHA synthesis–related enzymes is highly stressed. Important advances, such as the discovery of a “lactate-polymerizing enzyme” (LPE) and the establishment of microbial platform for lactate-based polyesters from renewable feedstock, are also presented. LPE-based achievements for creating a new variety of incorporated unnatural monomers are expanded to 2-hydroxybutyrate and glycolate units. This is a typical synthetic biology integrated by various biotechnological toolboxes to create novel polyesters, such as LA-based polyesters and tailored-made PHAs. Keywords: synthetic biology; polylactide; polyhydroxyalkanoate; enzyme engineering; renewable bioresources
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