, Volume 98, Issue 4, pp 1469-1483
Date: 17 Dec 2013

Lipid and fatty acid metabolism in Ralstonia eutropha: relevance for the biotechnological production of value-added products

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Lipid and fatty acid metabolism has been well studied in model microbial organisms like Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. The major precursor of fatty acid biosynthesis is also the major product of fatty acid degradation (β-oxidation), acetyl-CoA, which is a key metabolite for all organisms. Controlling carbon flux to fatty acid biosynthesis and from β-oxidation allows for the biosynthesis of natural products of biotechnological importance. Ralstonia eutropha can utilize acetyl-CoA from fatty acid metabolism to produce intracellular polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). R. eutropha can also be engineered to utilize fatty acid metabolism intermediates to produce different PHA precursors. Metabolism of lipids and fatty acids can be rerouted to convert carbon into other value-added compounds like biofuels. This review discusses the lipid and fatty acid metabolic pathways in R. eutropha and how they can be used to construct reagents for the biosynthesis of products of industrial importance. Specifically, how the use of lipids or fatty acids as the sole carbon source in R. eutropha cultures adds value to these biotechnological products will be discussed here.