Squalene is a precursor of thousands of bioactive triterpenoids and also has industrial value as a lubricant, health-promoting agent, and/or drop-in biofuel. To establish an efficient Escherichia coli-based system for squalene production, we tested two different squalene synthases and their mutants in combination with precursor pathways. By co-expressing a chimeric mevalonate pathway with human or Thermosynechococcus squalene synthase, E.coli accumulated squalene up to 230mg/L or 55mg/g-DCW in flask culture. We also determined that a significant truncation of squalene synthase at the C-terminus retains partial cellular activity. The squalene-producing strain described herein represents a convenient platform for gene discovery and the construction of the pathway toward natural and non-natural hopanoids/steroids.
- Bacterial production
- Mevalonate pathway
- Squalene synthase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology