Chip-based polyketide biosynthesis and functionalization

Bosung Ku, Junhoe Cha, Aravind Srinivasan, Seok Joon Kwon, Jae Choel Jeong, David H. Sherman, Jonathan S. Dordick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We demonstrate construction and novel compound synthesis from a synthetic metabolic pathway consisting of a type III polyketide synthase (PKS) known as 1,3,6,8-tetrahydroxynaphthalene synthase (THNS) from Streptomyces coelicolor and soybean peroxidase (SBP) in a microfluidic platform. THNS immobilized to Ni-NTA agarose beads is prepacked into a microfluidic channel, while SBP is covalently attached to the walls of a second microfluidic channel precoated with a reactive poly(maleic anhydride) derivative. The result is a tandem, two-step biochip that enables the synthesis of novel polyketide derivatives. The first microchannel, consisting of THNS, results in the conversion of malonyl-CoA to flaviolin in yields up to 40% with a residence time of 6 min. This conversion is similar to that obtained in several-milliliter batch reactions after 2 h. Linking this microchannel to the SBP microchannel results in biflaviolin synthesis. During the course of this work, we discovered that the substrate specificity of THNS could be manipulated by simply changing the reaction pH. As a result, the starter acyl-CoA specificity can be broadened to yield a series of truncated pyrone products. When combined with variations in the ratio of acyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA (extender substrate) feed rates, high yields of the pyrone products could be achieved, which is further structurally diversified from self- and cross-coupling in the SBP microchannel. The ability to rapidly evaluate the effects of reaction conditions and synthetic multienzyme pathways on a microfludic platform provides a new paradigm for performing metabolic pathway engineering, namely, the reconstruction of pathways for use in new compound discovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1102-1107
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


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