Desulfurization of dibenzothiophene and diesel oil by metabolically engineered Escherichia coli

Si Jae Park, In Su Lee, Yong Keun Chang, Sang Yup Lee

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13 Scopus citations


The desulfurization genes (dszABC) were cloned from Gordonia nitida. Nucleotide sequences similarity between the dszABC genes of G. nitida and those of Rhodococcus rhodochrous IGTS8 was 89%. The similarities of deduced amino acids between the two were 86% for DszA, 86% for DszB, and 90% for DszC. The G. nitida dszABC genes were expressed in several different Escherichia coli strains under an inducible trc promoter. Cultivation of these metabolically engineered E. coli strains in the presence of 0.2 mM dibenzothiophene (DBT) allowed the conversion of DBT to 2-hydroxybiphenyl (2-HBP), which is the final metabolite of the sulfur-specific desulfurization pathway. The maximum conversion of DBT to 2-HBP was 16% in 60 h. Recombinant E. coli was applied for the deep desulfurization of diesel oil supplemented into the medium at 5% (v/v). Sulfur content in diesel oil was decreased from 250 mg sulfur/l to 212.5 mg sulfur/l, resulting in the removal of 15% of sulfur in diesel oil in 60 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-583
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003


  • Desulfurization
  • Dibenzothiophene
  • Diesel oil
  • Escherichia coli
  • Gordonia nitida
  • Metabolic engineering


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