N-glycolyl chondroitin synthesis using metabolically engineered E. coli

Awofiranye, Adeola E.
Baytas, Sultan N.
Xia, Ke
Badri, Abinaya
He, Wenqin
Varki, Ajit
Koffas, Mattheos
Linhardt, Robert J.
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Issue Date
2020 , 2020-12-01
Biology , Chemistry and chemical biology , Chemical and biological engineering , Biomedical engineering
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Attribution 3.0 United States
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Full Citation
N-glycolyl chondroitin synthesis using metabolically engineered E. coli, A. E. Awofiranye, S. N. Baytas, K. Xia, A. Badri, W. He, A. Varki, M. Koffas, R. J. Linhardt, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Express,10, 144, 2020.
N-glycolyl chondroitin (Gc-CN) is a metabolite of N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), a sialic acid that is commonly found in mammals, but not humans. Humans can incorporate exogenous Neu5Gc into their tissues from eating red meat. Neu5Gc cannot be biosynthesized by humans due to an evolutionary mutation and has been implicated in causing inflammation causing human diseases, such as cancer. The study Neu5Gc is important in evolutionary biology and the development of potential cancer biomarkers. Unfortunately, there are several limitations to detecting Neu5Gc. The elimination of Neu5Gc involves a degradative pathway leading to the incorporation of N-glycolyl groups into glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), such as Gc-CN. Gc-CN has been found in humans and in animals including mice, lamb and chimpanzees. Here, we present the biosynthesis of Gc-CN in bacteria by feeding chemically synthesized N-glycolylglucosamine to Escherichia coli. A metabolically engineered strain of E. coli K4, fed with glucose supplemented with GlcNGc, converted it to N-glycolylgalactosamine (GalNGc) that could then be utilized as a substrate in the chondroitin biosynthetic pathway. The final product, Gc-CN was converted to disaccharides using chondroitin lyase ABC and analyzed by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry with multiple reaction monitoring detection. This analysis showed the incorporation of GalNGc into the backbone of the chondroitin oligosaccharide.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Express,10, 144
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