High level production of amorphadiene using Bacillus subtilis as an optimized terpenoid cell factory

Hegar Pramastya, Dan Xue, Ingy I Abdallah, Rita Setroikromo, Wim J Quax*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

6 Citaten (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


The anti-malarial drug artemisinin, produced naturally in the plant Artemisia annua, experiences unstable and insufficient supply as its production relies heavily on the plant source. To meet the massive demand for this compound, metabolic engineering of microbes has been studied extensively. In this study, we focus on improving the production of amorphadiene, a crucial artemisinin precursor, in Bacillus subtilis. The expression level of the plant-derived amorphadiene synthase (ADS) was upregulated by fusion with green fluorescent protein (GFP). Furthermore, a co-expression system of ADS and a synthetic operon carrying the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate (MEP) pathway genes was established. Subsequently, farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (FPPS), a key enzyme in formation of the sesquiterpene precursor farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP), was expressed to supply sufficient substrate for ADS. The consecutive combination of these features yielded a B. subtilis strain expressing chromosomally integrated GFP-ADS followed by FPPS and a plasmid encoded synthetic operon showing a stepwise increased production of amorphadiene. An experimental design-aided systematic medium optimization was used to maximize the production level for the most promising engineered B. subtilis strain, resulting in an amorphadiene yield of 416 +/- 15 mg/L, which is 20-fold higher than that previously reported in B. subtilis and more than double the production in Escherichia coli or Saccharomyces cerevisiae on a shake flask fermentation level.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)159-167
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftNew Biotechnology
Vroegere onlinedatum2020
StatusPublished - 25-jan-2021

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