APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Specialty chemicals
- Commodity chemicals (including polymers, lubricants, surfactants)
- Potential to produce a wider array of alcohols
- Potential for increased efficiency
Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) led by Ryan Phelan have developed a technology for biological production of n-alkyl (primary) alcohols, which have a wide range of industrial and fuels applications. Chimeric Polyketide Synthase (PKS) systems provide a novel, modular approach to manufacturing bio-based chemicals using a “building block” approach for biological routes to target molecules. PKS technology can also be applicable to a wide range of n-alkyl alcohols, while promising to improve efficiency.
JBEI researchers have successfully obtained a mutant 4-electron reducing domain (R domain) capable of improved activity toward highly reduced substrates makes provides a means of producing diverse primary alcohol compounds. This approach differs from previously reported alpha-keto acid pathway. JBEI PKS systems generate a variety of acyl-ACP intermediates that can then be cleaved and processed into primary alcohols by improved thioesterase terminal reductive domains that operate on substrates with varying chain lengths.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Barajas, J., Phelan, R., Schaub, A., Kliewer, J., Kelly, P. Jackson, D., Luo, R., Keasling, J., Tsai, S.-C. “Comprehensive Structural and Biochemical Analysis of the Terminal Myxalamid Reductase Domain for the Engineer Production of Primary Alcohols.” Chemistry & Biology 22.8 (2015): 1018-029.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle for converting acyl-thioesters to primary alcohols
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
REFERENCE NUMBER: 2013-044