Biosynthetic pathway for acrylic acid from glycerol in recombinant Escherichia coli

Wenhua Tong, Ying Xu, Mo Xian, Wei Niu, Jiantao Guo, Huizhou Liu, Guang Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Acrylic acid is an important industrial feedstock. In this study, a de novo acrylate biosynthetic pathway from inexpensive carbon source glycerol was constructed in Escherichia coli. The acrylic acid was produced from glycerol via 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde, 3-hydroxypropionyl-CoA, and acrylyl-CoA. The acrylate production was improved by screening and site-directed mutagenesis of key enzyme enoyl-CoA hydratase and chromosomal integration of some exogenous genes. Finally, our recombinant strain produced 37.7 mg/L acrylic acid under shaking flask conditions. Although the acrylate production is low, our study shows feasibility of engineering an acrylate biosynthetic pathway from inexpensive carbon source. Furthermore, the reasons for limited acrylate production and further strain optimization that should be performed in the future were also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4901-4907
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Acrylic acid biosynthesis
  • Enoyl-CoA hydratase
  • Inexpensive carbon source
  • Recombinant Escherichia coli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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