Efficient Synthesis of Food-Derived Antioxidant l -Ergothioneine by Engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum

Minhye Kim, Da Woon Jeong, Jun Won Oh, Hyun Jin Jeong, Young Jin Ko, Sung Eun Park, Sung Ok Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


l-Ergothioneine (EGT) is a strong antioxidant used in industry, and it is commonly extracted from mushrooms; however, its production is limited. As an alternative, we developed metabolically engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum with reinforced sulfur assimilation and pentose phosphate pathways, which led to the accumulation of 45.0 and 63.2 mg/L EGT, respectively. Additionally, the overexpression of cysEKR resulted in further promoted EGT production in ET4 (66.5 mg/L) and ET7 (85.0 mg/L). Based on this result, we developed the strain ET11, in which all sulfur assimilatory, PP, and l-cysteine synthetic pathways were reinforced, and it synthesized 264.4 mg/L EGT. This study presents the first strategy for EGT synthesis that does not require precursor addition in C. glutamicum, and the production time was shortened. In addition, the synthesized EGT showed high radical scavenging activity (70.7%), thus confirming its antioxidant function. Consequently, this study showed the possibility of EGT commercialization by overcoming the limitations of industrial processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1524
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Feb 9


  • l-cysteine pathway
  • l-ergothioneine
  • l-ergothioneine synthetic pathway
  • pentose phosphate pathway
  • sulfur assimilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Efficient Synthesis of Food-Derived Antioxidant l -Ergothioneine by Engineered Corynebacterium glutamicum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this