2-Ketoisovalerate is used as a therapeutic agent, and a 2-ketoisovalerate-producing organism may serve as a platform for products deriving from this 2-keto acid. We engineered the wild type of Corynebacterium glutamicum for the growth-decoupled production of 2-ketoisovalerate from glucose by deletion of the aceE gene encoding the E1p subunit of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, deletion of the transaminase B gene ilvE, and additional overexpression of the ilvBNCD genes, encoding the l-valine biosynthetic enzymes acetohydroxyacid synthase (AHAS), acetohydroxyacid isomeroreductase, and dihydroxyacid dehydratase. 2-Ketoisovalerate production was further improved by deletion of the pyruvate:quinone oxidoreductase gene pqo. In fed-batch fermentations at high cell densities, the newly constructed strains produced up to 188 ± 28 mM (21.8 ± 3.2 g liter(-1)) 2-ketoisovalerate and showed a product yield of about 0.47 ± 0.05 mol per mol (0.3 ± 0.03 g per g) of glucose and a volumetric productivity of about 4.6 ± 0.6 mM (0.53 ± 0.07 g liter(-1)) 2-ketoisovalerate per h in the overall production phase. In studying the influence of the three branched-chain 2-keto acids 2-ketoisovalerate, 2-ketoisocaproate, and 2-keto-3-methylvalerate on the AHAS activity, we observed a competitive inhibition of the AHAS enzyme by 2-ketoisovalerate.
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