The continuing development of E. Coli as a heterologous host for complex natural product biosynthesis

Haoran Zhang, Lei Fang, Marcia S. Osburne, Blaine A. Pfeifer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


Heterologous biosynthesis of natural products is meant to enable access to the vast array of valuable properties associated with these compounds. Often motivated by limitations inherent in native production hosts, the heterologous biosynthetic process begins with a candidate host regarded as technically advanced relative to original producing organisms. Given this requirement, E. coli has been a top choice for heterologous biosynthesis attempts as associated recombinant tools emerged and continue to develop. However, success requires overcoming challenges associated with natural product formation, including complex biosynthetic pathways and the need for metabolic support. These two challenges have been heavily featured in cellular engineering efforts completed to position E. coli as a viable surrogate host. This chapter outlines steps taken to engineer E. coli with an emphasis on genetic manipulations designed to support the heterologous production of polyketide, nonribosomal peptide, and similarly complex natural products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


  • Cellular design
  • E. coli
  • Heterologous biosynthesis
  • Natural products
  • Nonribosomal peptide
  • Polyketide


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