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Chaperone-aided expression of LipA and LplA followed by the increase in α-lipoic acid production

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α-Lipoic acid (LA), a naturally occurring cofactor reported to be present in a diverse group of microorganisms, plants, and animal tissues, has been widely and successfully used as a therapy for a variety of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. However, to date, recombinant DNA technology has not been applied for higher LA production due mainly to difficulties in the functional expression of key enzymes involved in LA production. Here, we report a study for higher LA production with the aid of chaperone plasmids, DnaKJE and trigger factor (Tf). The lipA and lplA genes encoding lipoate synthase and lipoate protein ligase in Pseudomonas fluorescens, respectively, were cloned and transformed into Escherichia coli K12. When they were overexpressed in E. coli, both LipA and LplA were expressed as inclusion bodies leading to no increase in LA production. However, when chaperone plasmids DnaKJE and Tf were coexpressed with lipA and lplA, the resulting recombinant E. coli strains showed higher LA production than the wild-type E. coli by 32–111%, respectively.

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This work was supported by a grant (2006-11077) from Seoul R&BD program. This research was also supported by the 2008 KU Brain Pool of Konkuk University.

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Correspondence to Jung-Kul Lee.

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Moon, H., Jeya, M., Yu, I. et al. Chaperone-aided expression of LipA and LplA followed by the increase in α-lipoic acid production. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 83, 329–337 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-009-1899-6

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  • Chaperone
  • Expression
  • Lipoate synthase
  • Lipoic acid
  • Pseudomonas fluorescens