Production of D‑Glyceric acid from d‑Galacturonate in Escherichia coli
A microbial production platform has been developed in Escherichia coli to synthesize D-glyceric acid from D-galacturonate. The expression of uronate dehydrogenase (udh) from Pseudomonas syringae and galactarolactone isomerase (gli) from Agrobacterium fabrum, along with the inactivation of garK, encoding for glycerate kinase, enables D-glyceric acid accumulation by utilizing the endogenous expression of galactarate dehydratase (garD), 5-keto-4-deoxy-D-glucarate aldolase (garL), and 2-hydroxy-3-oxopropionate reductase (garR). Optimization of carbon flux through the elimination of competing metabolic pathways led to the development of a ΔgarKΔhyiΔglxKΔuxaC mutant strain that produced 4.8 g/l of D-glyceric acid from D-galacturonate, with an 83% molar yield. Cultivation in a minimal medium produced similar yields and demonstrated that galactose or glycerol serve as possible carbon co-feeds for industrial production. This novel platform represents an alternative for the production of D-glyceric acid, an industrially relevant chemical, that addresses current challenges in using acetic acid bacteria for its synthesis: increasing yield, enantio-purity and biological stability.