Reassembled biosynthetic pathway for large-scale carbohydrate synthesis: α-Gal epitope producing "superbug"

Xi Chen, Ziye Liu, Jianbo Zhang, Wei Zhang, Przemyslaw Kowal, Peng George Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


A metabolic pathway engineered Escherichia coli strain (superbug) containing one plasmid harboring an artificial gene cluster encoding all the five enzymes in the biosynthetic pathway of Galα1,3Lac through galactose metabolism has been developed. The plasmid contains a λ promoter, a cl857 repressor gene, an ampicillin resistance gene, and a T7 terminator. Each gene was preceded by a Shine-Dalgarno sequence for ribosome binding. In a reaction catalyzed by the recombinant E. coli strain, Galα1,3Lac trisaccharide accumulated at concentrations of 14.2 mM (7.2 g L-1) in a reaction mixture containing galactose, glucose, lactose, and a catalytic amount of uridine 5′-diphosphoglucose. This work demonstrates that large-scale synthesis of complex oligosaccharides can be achieved economically and efficiently through a single, biosynthetic pathway engineered microorganism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosynthesis
  • Gene expression
  • Glycosylation
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Oligosaccharides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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