APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
Production from renewable sources of
- 3-hydroxycarboxylic acids, to yield polyesters
- ketones for solvents, flavors and fragrances
- Flexibility to achieve material properties not otherwise possible
- Sustainable replacement for products derived from rare, expensive or toxic sources
Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed a polyketide synthase (PKS) capable of synthesizing a number of 3-hydroxycarboxylic acids or ketones. Specifically, the researchers engineered a polyketide synthase subunit of the lipomycin polyketide synthase. The JBEI technology includes a host cell comprising the PKS that, when cultured, produces a 3-hydroxycarboxylic acid or ketone.
3-Hydroxycarboxylic acids can be polymerized chemically and biologically to produce polyesters with diverse functions. Ketones can be used as solvents, flavors, and fragrances. The JBEI researchers estimate the technology could be used to produce over 150 different 3-hydroxycarboxylic acids and over 50 different ketones, most of which are not commercially available.
Type I PKSs are highly amenable to protein engineering. They are programmable, multifunctional enzymes possessing all the catalytic capacity of fatty acid synthases (FAS). Unlike the FASs, however, PKS systems utilize a discreet set of enzymatic domains for each extension and reduction of the nascent polyketide product. These sets, referred to as modules, can incorporate a variety of extenders until resulting in different side chains that yield diverse, discreet chemical structures. Due to their modularity, PKS systems have been considered for production of products from basic lactones to modified versions of well-established drugs.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
REFERENCE NUMBER: 2014-007