Engineering an oleic acid-induced system for Halomonas, E. coli and Pseudomonas

Yueyuan Ma, Xiangrui Zheng, Yina Lin, Lizhan Zhang, Yiping Yuan, Huan Wang, James Winterburn, Fuqing Wu, Qiong Wu, Jian-wen Ye, Guo-qiang Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ligand-induced system plays an important role for microbial engineering due to its tunable gene expression control over timings and levels. An oleic acid (OA)-induced system was recently constructed based on protein FadR, a transcriptional regulator involved in fatty acids metabolism, for metabolic control in Escherichia coli. In this study, we constructed a synthetic FadR-based OA-induced systems in Halomonas bluephagenesis by hybridizing the porin promoter core region and FadR-binding operator (fadO). The dynamic control range was optimized over 150-fold, and expression leakage was significantly reduced by tuning FadR expression and positioning fadO, forming a series of OA-induced systems with various expression strengths, respectively. Additionally, ligand orthogonality and cross-species portability were also studied and showed highly linear correlation among Halomonas spp., Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas spp. Finally, OA-induced systems with medium- and small-dynamic control ranges were employed to dynamically control the expression levels of morphology associated gene minCD, and monomer precursor 4-hydroxybutyrate-CoA (4HB-CoA) synthesis pathway for polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), respectively, in the presence of oleic acid as an inducer. As a result, over 10 g/L of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) accumulated by elongated cell sizes, and 6 g/L of P(3HB-co-9.57 mol% 4HB) were obtained by controlling the dose and induction time of oleic acid only. This study provides a systematic approach for ligand-induced system engineering, and demonstrates an alternative genetic tool for dynamic control of industrial biotechnology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-336
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Early online date2 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


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