Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 187–194 | Cite as

Monorhamnolipids and 3-(3-hydroxyalkanoyloxy)alkanoic acids (HAAs) production using Escherichia coli as a heterologous host

  • Natividad Cabrera-Valladares
  • Anne-Pascale Richardson
  • Clarita Olvera
  • Luis Gerardo Treviño
  • Eric Déziel
  • François Lépine
  • Gloria Soberón-ChávezEmail author
Applied Genetics and Molecular Biotechnology


Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces the biosurfactants rhamnolipids and 3-(3-hydroxyalkanoyloxy)alkanoic acids (HAAs). In this study, we report the production of one family of rhamnolipids, specifically the monorhamnolipids, and of HAAs in a recombinant Escherichia coli strain expressing P. aeruginosa rhlAB operon. We found that the availability in E. coli of dTDP-l-rhamnose, a substrate of RhlB, restricts the production of monorhamnolipids in E. coli. We present evidence showing that HAAs and the fatty acid dimer moiety of rhamnolipids are the product of RhlA enzymatic activity. Furthermore, we found that in the recombinant E. coli, these compounds have the same chain length of the fatty acid dimer moiety as those produced by P. aeruginosa. These data suggest that it is RhlAB specificity, and not the hydroxyfatty acid relative abundance in the bacterium, that determines the profile of the fatty acid moiety of rhamnolipids and HAAs. The rhamnolipids level produced in recombinant E. coli expressing rhlAB is lower than the P. aeruginosa level and much higher than those reported by others in E. coli, showing that this metabolic engineering strategy lead to an increased rhamnolipids production in this heterologous host.


Oleic Acid Quorum Sense Biosurfactants Acyl Carrier Protein Rhamnolipids 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to Rosalba Sánchez and Marisela Aguirre-Ramírez for technical assistance. This research was founded in part by Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México through grants DGAPA PAPIIT IIX201404 and IN203305.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natividad Cabrera-Valladares
    • 1
  • Anne-Pascale Richardson
    • 2
  • Clarita Olvera
    • 1
  • Luis Gerardo Treviño
    • 3
  • Eric Déziel
    • 2
  • François Lépine
    • 2
  • Gloria Soberón-Chávez
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Ingeniería Celular y Biocatálisis, Instituto de BiotecnologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)MexicoMexico
  2. 2.INRS-Institut Armand-FrappierLavalCanada
  3. 3.Programa de Genómica Computacional, Centro de Ciencias GenómicasUNAMMexicoMexico
  4. 4.Departamento de Biología Molecular y Biotecnología, Instituto de Investigaciones BiomédicasUNAMMexicoMexico

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