Engineering Escherichia coli towards de novo production of gatekeeper (2S)-flavanones: naringenin, pinocembrin, eriodictyol and homoeriodictyol.

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Natural plant-based flavonoids have drawn significant attention as dietary supplements due to their potential health benefits, including anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and anti-asthmatic activities. Naringenin, pinocembrin, eriodictyol and homoeriodictyol are classified as (2S)-flavanones, an important sub-group of naturally-occurring flavonoids, with wide-reaching applications in human health and nutrition. These four compounds occupy a central position as branch point intermediates towards a broad spectrum of naturally occurring flavonoids. Here, we report the development of E. coli production chassis for each of these key gatekeeper flavonoids. Selection of key enzymes, genetic construct design, and the optimization of process conditions resulted in the highest reported titers for naringenin (484 mg/L), improved production of pinocembrin (198 mg/L) and eriodictyol (55 mg/L from caffeic acid), and provided the first example of in vivo production of homoeriodictyol directly from glycerol (17 mg/L). This work provides a springboard for future production of diverse downstream natural and non-natural flavonoid targets.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article numberysaa012
JournalSynthetic Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020