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Development of a cyanobacterial heterologous polyketide production platform


The development of new heterologous hosts for polyketides production represents an excellent opportunity to expand the genomic, physiological, and biochemical backgrounds that better fit the sustainable production of these valuable molecules. Cyanobacteria are particularly attractive for the production of natural compounds because they have minimal nutritional demands and several strains have well established genetic tools. Using the model strain Synechococcus elongatus, a generic platform was developed for the heterologous production of polyketide synthase (PKS)-derived compounds. The versatility of this system is based on interchangeable modules harboring promiscuous enzymes for PKS activation and the production of PKS extender units, as well as inducible circuits for a regulated expression of the PKS biosynthetic gene cluster. To assess the capability of this platform, we expressed the mycobacterial PKS-based mycocerosic biosynthetic pathway to produce multimethyl-branched esters (MBE). This work is a foundational step forward for the production of high value polyketides in a photosynthetic microorganism.

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