Date: 13 Nov 2002

Biotechnological Manufacture of Lysine

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Abstract

l-Lysine has been manufactured using Corynebacterium glutamicum for more than 40 years. Nowadays production exceeds 600,000 tons per year. Based on conventionally bred strains, further improvement of lysine productivity has been achieved by genetic engineering. Pyruvate carboxylase, aspartate kinase, dihydrodipicolinate synthase, homoserine dehydrogenase and the specific lysine exporter were shown to be key enzymes for lysine production and were characterized in detail. Their combined engineering led to a striking increase in lysine formation. Pathway modeling with data emerging from 13C-isotope experiments revealed a coordinated flux through pentose phosphate cycle and tricarboxylic acid cycle and intensive futile cycling between C3 compounds of glycolysis and C4 compounds of tricarboxylic acid cycle. Process economics have been optimized by developing repeated fed-batch techniques and technical continuous fermentations. In addition, on-line metabolic pathway analysis or flow cytometry may help to improve the fermentation performance. Finally, the availability of the Corynebacterium glutamicum genome sequence has a major impact on the improvement of the biotechnological manufacture of lysine. In this context, all genes of the carbon flow from sugar uptake to lysine secretion have been identified and are accessible to manipulation. The whole sequence information gives access to post genome technologies such as transcriptome analysis, investigation of the proteome and the active metabolic network. These multi-parallel working technologies will accelerate the generation of knowledge. For the first time there is a chance of understanding the overall picture of the physiological state of lysine overproduction in a technical environment.