Production of squalene by squalene synthases and their truncated mutants in Escherichia coli

Akinori Katabami, Ling Li, Miki Iwasaki, Maiko Furubayashi, Kyoichi Saito, Daisuke Umeno*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial production
  • Carotenoid
  • Mevalonate pathway
  • Squalene synthase
  • Triterpenoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Production of squalene by squalene synthases and their truncated mutants in Escherichia coli'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this