Short-chain ketone production by engineered polyketide synthases in Streptomyces albus.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07040-0
Microbial production of fuels and commodity chemicals has been performed primarily using natural or slightly modified enzymes, which inherently limits the types of molecules that can be produced. Type I modular polyketide synthases (PKSs) are multi-domain enzymes that can produce unique and diverse molecular structures by combining particular types of catalytic domains in a specific order. This catalytic mechanism offers a wealth of engineering opportunities. Here we report engineered microbes that produce various short-chain (C5-C7) ketones using hybrid PKSs. Introduction of the genes into the chromosome of Streptomyces albus enables it to produce >1 g · l-1 of C6 and C7 ethyl ketones and several hundred mg · l-1 of C5 and C6 methyl ketones from plant biomass hydrolysates. Engine tests indicate these short-chain ketones can be added to gasoline as oxygenates to increase the octane of gasoline. Together, it demonstrates the efficient and renewable microbial production of biogasolines by hybrid enzymes.