A whole-cell biocatalysis was investigated for the selective synthesis of the industrially relevant C2 chemicals (e.g., glycolic acid (3)) from formaldehyde (1). Escherichia coli cells were engineered to overexpress a carboligase and an aldehyde dehydrogenase from E. coli K-12. Moreover, the side reactions, which dissipate formaldehyde and glycolic acid, were removed to produce glycolic acid to a high conversion. Host cell engineering to apply relatively chemical tolerant E. coli strains as well as substrate engineering to avoid the toxic effects of formaldehyde to the host cells allowed production of glycolic acid up to 27 mM in the reaction medium with a conversion of 85%. This study will contribute to valorization of C1 gas (e.g., CH4, CO2, and CO) to industrially relevant C2 chemicals in a sustainable way.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the C1 Gas Refinery Research Center (NRF Grant Number: 2018M3D3A1A01055735) of the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT.
© 2023 American Chemical Society.
- Aldehyde dehydrogenase
- Escherichia coli
- Glycolic acid
- Whole-cell biocatalysis