Improved production of 2,3-butanediol and isobutanol by engineering electron transport chain in Escherichia coli

Hwi Min Jung, Jae Ho Han, Min Kyu Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The electron transport chain (ETC) is one of the major energy generation pathways in microorganisms under aerobic condition. Higher yield of ATP can be achieved through oxidative phosphorylation with consumption of NADH than with substrate level phosphorylation. However, most value-added metabolites are in an electrochemically reduced state, which requires reducing equivalent NADH as a cofactor. Therefore, optimal production of value-added metabolites should be balanced with ETC in terms of energy production. In this study, we attempted to reduce the activity of ETC to secure availability of NADH. The ETC mutants exhibited poor growth rate and production of fermentative metabolites compared to parental strain. Introduction of heterologous pathways for synthesis of 2,3-butanediol and isobutanol to ETC mutants resulted in increased titres and yields of the metabolites. ETC mutants yielded higher NADH/NAD+ ratio but similar ATP content than that by the parental strain. Furthermore, ETC mutants operated fermentative metabolism pathways independent of oxygen supply in large-scale fermenter, resulting in increased yield and titre of 2,3-butanediol. Thus, engineering of ETC is a useful metabolic engineering approach for production of reduced metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalMicrobial Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Korean Government (2020R1A2B5B01002347 and 2017R1A2B4008758).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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