Synthetic Biology and Genome-Editing Tools for Improving PHA Metabolic Engineering

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Recent research findings within MIX-UP published in Trends in Biotechnology. Congratulations to Xu Zhang, Yina Lin, Qiong Wu, Ying Wang and Guo-Qiang Chen to this success!

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a diverse family of biopolyesters synthesized by many natural or engineered bacteria. Synthetic biology and DNA-editing approaches have been adopted to engineer cells for more efficient PHA production. Recent advances in synthetic biology applied to improve PHA biosynthesis include ribosome-binding site (RBS) optimization, promoter engineering, chromosomal integration, cell morphology engineering, cell growth behavior reprograming, and downstream processing. More importantly, the genome-editing tool clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) has been applied to optimize the PHA synthetic pathway, regulate PHA synthesis-related metabolic flux, and control cell shapes in model organisms, such as Escherichia coli, and non-model organisms, such as Halomonas. These synthetic biology methods and genome-editing tools contribute to controllable PHA molecular weights and compositions, enhanced PHA accumulation, and easy downstream processing.

Read the full article here.