Limits...
An ancient Chinese wisdom for metabolic engineering: Yin-Yang.

Wu SG, He L, Wang Q, Tang YJ - Microb. Cell Fact. (2015)

Bottom Line: Current biotechnology can effectively edit the microbial genome or introduce novel enzymes to redirect carbon fluxes.Pursue biosynthesis relying only on pathways or genetic parts without significant ATP burden. 3.Combine microbial production with chemical conversions (semi-biosynthesis) to reduce biosynthesis steps. 4.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 63130, USA. wug@seas.wustl.edu.

ABSTRACT
In ancient Chinese philosophy, Yin-Yang describes two contrary forces that are interconnected and interdependent. This concept also holds true in microbial cell factories, where Yin represents energy metabolism in the form of ATP, and Yang represents carbon metabolism. Current biotechnology can effectively edit the microbial genome or introduce novel enzymes to redirect carbon fluxes. On the other hand, microbial metabolism loses significant free energy as heat when converting sugar into ATP; while maintenance energy expenditures further aggravate ATP shortage. The limitation of cell "powerhouse" prevents hosts from achieving high carbon yields and rates. Via an Escherichia coli flux balance analysis model, we further demonstrate the penalty of ATP cost on biofuel synthesis. To ensure cell powerhouse being sufficient in microbial cell factories, we propose five principles: 1. Take advantage of native pathways for product synthesis. 2. Pursue biosynthesis relying only on pathways or genetic parts without significant ATP burden. 3. Combine microbial production with chemical conversions (semi-biosynthesis) to reduce biosynthesis steps. 4. Create "minimal cells" or use non-model microbial hosts with higher energy fitness. 5. Develop a photosynthesis chassis that can utilize light energy and cheap carbon feedstocks. Meanwhile, metabolic flux analysis can be used to quantify both carbon and energy metabolisms. The fluxomics results are essential to evaluate the industrial potential of laboratory strains, avoiding false starts and dead ends during metabolic engineering.

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Energy fitness and productivities in microbial cell factories. a: The trend of metabolic entropy changes (unit: ATP generation per glucose). In optimal metabolism, one mole glucose generates 38 ATP for biosynthesis. Under constraints of P/O ratios and maintenance loss, less ATP can be generated (increase of metabolic entropy). b: The transition from carbon limitation to energy limitation with the increase of product yield. In many cases, the energy limitation prevents strains from achieving the yield and titer above break-even point. c: Cascade of energy changes (Heat of combustion) during biofuel synthesis from glucose. Energy was calculated based on stoichiometry yields (green text, entire bar) and the practical yields (red text, grey bar). Reported yields: ethanol -- 96% of theoretical yield [29], isobutanol -- 85% of theoretical yield [37], fatty acid --50% of theoretical yield [35], and H2 (dark fermentation) -- 50% of theoretical yield [38].
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Fig3: Energy fitness and productivities in microbial cell factories. a: The trend of metabolic entropy changes (unit: ATP generation per glucose). In optimal metabolism, one mole glucose generates 38 ATP for biosynthesis. Under constraints of P/O ratios and maintenance loss, less ATP can be generated (increase of metabolic entropy). b: The transition from carbon limitation to energy limitation with the increase of product yield. In many cases, the energy limitation prevents strains from achieving the yield and titer above break-even point. c: Cascade of energy changes (Heat of combustion) during biofuel synthesis from glucose. Energy was calculated based on stoichiometry yields (green text, entire bar) and the practical yields (red text, grey bar). Reported yields: ethanol -- 96% of theoretical yield [29], isobutanol -- 85% of theoretical yield [37], fatty acid --50% of theoretical yield [35], and H2 (dark fermentation) -- 50% of theoretical yield [38].

Mentions: To better understand the limitations of microbial cell factories, we refer to an ancient Chinese philosophy: Yin-Yang. Yin-Yang describes both the bright side and dark side of an object in the world. Yin and Yang oppose each other but are also interdependent. In the case of metabolic engineering, the microbial metabolism is operated by thousands of enzymatic reactions and mass transport processes that involve both carbon (Yang) and energy (Yin) transformations (Figure 1). Through billions of years of evolution and environmental adaptations, biological systems have evolved closely interdependent carbon fluxes for biomass growth and energy fitness, which are similar to the intertwined Yin-Yang forces. Although it is easy to engineer microbial hosts to produce small amounts of diverse products, manufacturing a particular compound with titers and rates beyond the economic break-even point could be limited by suboptimal energy metabolism. In microbial conversions of a substrate to a product, metabolic entropy increases when carbon flux is redirected to the final products (Figure 3a & b). For example, Figure 3c shows the energy loss during conversion of glucose to different biofuels.Figure 3


An ancient Chinese wisdom for metabolic engineering: Yin-Yang.

Wu SG, He L, Wang Q, Tang YJ - Microb. Cell Fact. (2015)

Energy fitness and productivities in microbial cell factories. a: The trend of metabolic entropy changes (unit: ATP generation per glucose). In optimal metabolism, one mole glucose generates 38 ATP for biosynthesis. Under constraints of P/O ratios and maintenance loss, less ATP can be generated (increase of metabolic entropy). b: The transition from carbon limitation to energy limitation with the increase of product yield. In many cases, the energy limitation prevents strains from achieving the yield and titer above break-even point. c: Cascade of energy changes (Heat of combustion) during biofuel synthesis from glucose. Energy was calculated based on stoichiometry yields (green text, entire bar) and the practical yields (red text, grey bar). Reported yields: ethanol -- 96% of theoretical yield [29], isobutanol -- 85% of theoretical yield [37], fatty acid --50% of theoretical yield [35], and H2 (dark fermentation) -- 50% of theoretical yield [38].
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4374363&req=5

Fig3: Energy fitness and productivities in microbial cell factories. a: The trend of metabolic entropy changes (unit: ATP generation per glucose). In optimal metabolism, one mole glucose generates 38 ATP for biosynthesis. Under constraints of P/O ratios and maintenance loss, less ATP can be generated (increase of metabolic entropy). b: The transition from carbon limitation to energy limitation with the increase of product yield. In many cases, the energy limitation prevents strains from achieving the yield and titer above break-even point. c: Cascade of energy changes (Heat of combustion) during biofuel synthesis from glucose. Energy was calculated based on stoichiometry yields (green text, entire bar) and the practical yields (red text, grey bar). Reported yields: ethanol -- 96% of theoretical yield [29], isobutanol -- 85% of theoretical yield [37], fatty acid --50% of theoretical yield [35], and H2 (dark fermentation) -- 50% of theoretical yield [38].
Mentions: To better understand the limitations of microbial cell factories, we refer to an ancient Chinese philosophy: Yin-Yang. Yin-Yang describes both the bright side and dark side of an object in the world. Yin and Yang oppose each other but are also interdependent. In the case of metabolic engineering, the microbial metabolism is operated by thousands of enzymatic reactions and mass transport processes that involve both carbon (Yang) and energy (Yin) transformations (Figure 1). Through billions of years of evolution and environmental adaptations, biological systems have evolved closely interdependent carbon fluxes for biomass growth and energy fitness, which are similar to the intertwined Yin-Yang forces. Although it is easy to engineer microbial hosts to produce small amounts of diverse products, manufacturing a particular compound with titers and rates beyond the economic break-even point could be limited by suboptimal energy metabolism. In microbial conversions of a substrate to a product, metabolic entropy increases when carbon flux is redirected to the final products (Figure 3a & b). For example, Figure 3c shows the energy loss during conversion of glucose to different biofuels.Figure 3

Bottom Line: Current biotechnology can effectively edit the microbial genome or introduce novel enzymes to redirect carbon fluxes.Pursue biosynthesis relying only on pathways or genetic parts without significant ATP burden. 3.Combine microbial production with chemical conversions (semi-biosynthesis) to reduce biosynthesis steps. 4.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 63130, USA. wug@seas.wustl.edu.

ABSTRACT
In ancient Chinese philosophy, Yin-Yang describes two contrary forces that are interconnected and interdependent. This concept also holds true in microbial cell factories, where Yin represents energy metabolism in the form of ATP, and Yang represents carbon metabolism. Current biotechnology can effectively edit the microbial genome or introduce novel enzymes to redirect carbon fluxes. On the other hand, microbial metabolism loses significant free energy as heat when converting sugar into ATP; while maintenance energy expenditures further aggravate ATP shortage. The limitation of cell "powerhouse" prevents hosts from achieving high carbon yields and rates. Via an Escherichia coli flux balance analysis model, we further demonstrate the penalty of ATP cost on biofuel synthesis. To ensure cell powerhouse being sufficient in microbial cell factories, we propose five principles: 1. Take advantage of native pathways for product synthesis. 2. Pursue biosynthesis relying only on pathways or genetic parts without significant ATP burden. 3. Combine microbial production with chemical conversions (semi-biosynthesis) to reduce biosynthesis steps. 4. Create "minimal cells" or use non-model microbial hosts with higher energy fitness. 5. Develop a photosynthesis chassis that can utilize light energy and cheap carbon feedstocks. Meanwhile, metabolic flux analysis can be used to quantify both carbon and energy metabolisms. The fluxomics results are essential to evaluate the industrial potential of laboratory strains, avoiding false starts and dead ends during metabolic engineering.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus