Porphyrins, phycobilins, and their proteins have abundant π-electrons and strongly absorb visible light, some of which bind a metal ion in the center. Because of the structural and optical properties, they not only play critical roles as an essential component in natural systems but also have attracted much attention as a high value specialty chemical in various fields, including renewable energy, cosmetics, medicines, and foods. However, their commercial application seems to be still limited because the market price of porphyrins and phycobilins is generally expensive to apply them easily. Furthermore, their petroleum-based chemical synthesis is energy-intensive and emits a pollutant. Recently, to replace petroleum-based production, many studies on the bioproduction of metalloporphyrins, including Zn-porphyrin, Co-porphyrin, and heme, porphyrin derivatives including chlorophyll, biliverdin, and phycobilins, and their proteins including hemoproteins, phycobiliproteins, and phytochromes from renewable carbon sources using microbial cell factories have been reported. This review outlines recent advances in the bioproduction of porphyrins, phycobilins, and their proteins using microbial cell factories developed by various microbial biotechnology techniques, provides well-organized information on metabolic regulations of the porphyrin metabolism, and then critically discusses challenges and future perspectives. Through these, it is expected to be able to achieve possible solutions and insights and to develop an outstanding platform to be applied to the industry in future research.
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- metabolic engineering
- microbial cell factory
- protein engineering
- synthetic biology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology