Metabolic Engineering Through Cofactor Manipulation and Its Effects on Metabolic Flux Redistribution in Escherichia Coli

Metab Eng. 2002 Apr;4(2):182-92. doi: 10.1006/mben.2001.0220.


Applications of genetic engineering or metabolic engineering have increased in both academic and industrial institutions. Most current metabolic engineering studies have focused on enzyme levels and on the effect of the amplification, addition, or deletion of a particular pathway. Although it is generally known that cofactors play a major role in the production of different fermentation products, their role has not been thoroughly and systematically studied. It is conceivable that in cofactor-dependent production systems, cofactor availability and the proportion of cofactor in the active form may play an important role in dictating the overall process yield. Hence, the manipulation of these cofactor levels may be crucial in order to further increase production. We have demonstrated that manipulation of cofactors can be achieved by external and genetic means and these manipulations have the potential to be used as an additional tool to achieve desired metabolic goals. We have shown experimentally that the NADH/NAD(+) ratio can be altered by using carbon sources with different oxidation states. We have shown further that the metabolite distribution can be influenced by a change in the NADH/NAD(+) ratio as mediated by the oxidation state of the carbon source used. We have also demonstrated that the total NAD(H/(+)) levels can be increased by the overexpression of the pncB gene. The increase in the total NAD(H/(+)) levels can be achieved even in a complex medium, which is commonly used by most industrial processes. Finally, we have shown that manipulation of the CoA pool/flux can be used to increase the productivity of a model product, isoamyl acetate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioreactors
  • Carbon / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Models, Biological
  • NAD / metabolism
  • Pentosyltransferases / genetics
  • Pentosyltransferases / metabolism


  • NAD
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A
  • Carbon
  • Pentosyltransferases
  • nicotinate phosphoribosyltransferase