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Basic Research

Analysis of function and regulation of genes in Corynebacterium glutamicum

In metabolic engineering for the development of bioprocesses, the metabolic pathway from sugars as a feedstock to a target compound should be optimally designed. In this context, robustness in response to the intra-/extra-cellular environmental changes should be improved. Therefore, it is very important to comprehensively understand the regulatory mechanisms for the responses to various kinds of stresses (oxidative/reductive, acid/alkali, heat, osmotic stresses, etc.), as well as for the metabolic pathways including sugar metabolism coupled with the cellular energy generation and cofactor regeneration systems in a host microorganism. The understanding of the genome-wide regulatory network of gene expression is the basis of the technologies for optimal gene expression for metabolic engineering.

Our research group has developed bioprocesses for the production of fuels and chemicals (biofuels and green chemicals) using Corynebacterium glutamicum that has a long history as an industrial workhorse producing amino acids. As for the basis, we have investigated the function and regulation of genes involved in various cellular functions including carbon metabolism, anaerobic metabolism, and cell division. A great advance is made in describing the gene regulatory network unique to this microorganism by elucidating the factors controlling gene expression along with the genome-wide effects of its inactivation/activation.

Metabolic regulation system/environmental response system in microorganism, and metabolic engineering for the production of biofuel and green chemical