Biobased sunscreen fabrication using Zn-porphyrins from engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum

Young Jin Ko, Jeong Joo Oh, Sung Ok Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Porphyrin is a heterocyclic macromolecule that strongly absorbs UV-visible light. Here, Corynebacterium glutamicum was engineered for the secretory production of Zn-porphyrins (Zn-PPs), and the sunscreen effect of Zn-PPs on broad-spectrum UV irradiation was evaluated. The overexpression of the heme exporter HrtBA and the addition of ethambutol in fermentation improved the secretory production of Zn-PPs in C. glutamicum. The fed-batch fermentation of the engineered strain showed a production titer of Zn-PPs of 346.59 ± 17.38 mg L−1, including 294.81 ± 14.94 mg L−1 secreted Zn-PPs, which was the highest in C. glutamicum reported to date. The cream containing Zn-PPs showed a sunscreen effect in both the UV-A and UV-B regions, especially with superior absorption in the UV-A region. Zn-PPs also showed hydroxyl radical scavenging activity. The Zn-PPs cream blended with lignins to complement the UV-B absorption enhanced the blocking effect on the broad spectrum. These results demonstrate that Zn-PPs have promising potential as biorenewable sunscreens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5626-5633
Number of pages8
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jun 20

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution


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