Optogenetic Amplification Circuits for Light-Induced Metabolic Control

Evan M. Zhao, Makoto A. Lalwani, Jhong Min Chen, Paulina Orillac, Jared E. Toettcher, José L. Avalos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dynamic control of microbial metabolism is an effective strategy to improve chemical production in fermentations. While dynamic control is most often implemented using chemical inducers, optogenetics offers an attractive alternative due to the high tunability and reversibility afforded by light. However, a major concern of applying optogenetics in metabolic engineering is the risk of insufficient light penetration at high cell densities, especially in large bioreactors. Here, we present a new series of optogenetic circuits we call OptoAMP, which amplify the transcriptional response to blue light by as much as 23-fold compared to the basal circuit (OptoEXP). These circuits show as much as a 41-fold induction between dark and light conditions, efficient activation at light duty cycles as low as ∼1%, and strong homogeneous light-induction in bioreactors of at least 5 L, with limited illumination at cell densities above 40 OD600. We demonstrate the ability of OptoAMP circuits to control engineered metabolic pathways in novel three-phase fermentations using different light schedules to control enzyme expression and improve production of lactic acid, isobutanol, and naringenin. These circuits expand the applicability of optogenetics to metabolic engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1143-1154
Number of pages12
JournalACS Synthetic Biology
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 21 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)

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