Orthogonal and tunable expression of metabolic pathways

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George McArthur, Stephen Fong

Virginia Commonwealth University, United States

Microbial metabolism can be tailored to meet human specifications, but the degree to which these living systems can be repurposed is still unknown. This work contributes well-characterized genetic tools useful for modulating gene expression (extended promoters) and isolating expression of designed DNA from the endogenous cellular network (orthogonal gene expression systems). Furthermore, the utility of these tools is demonstrated in Escherichia coli through the overproduction of (S)limonene, a cyclic monoterpene with a number of desirable physical properties. In general, this work contributes to the development of artificial biological control strategies aimed at enabling the predictable implementation of novel biological functions (e.g., engineered metabolism).