The NCgl1221 gene, which encodes a mechanosensitive channel, has been reported to be critically involved in glutamate (Glu) overproduction by Corynebacterium glutamicum, but direct evidence of Glu excretion through this channel has not yet been provided. In this study, by electrophysiological methods, we found direct evidence of Glu excretion through this channel by passive diffusion. We found that the introduction into Phe-producing Escherichia coli of mutant NCgl1221 genes that induce Glu overproduction by C. glutamicum improved productivity. This suggests a low-substrate preference of this channel, indicates its potential as a versatile exporter, and more broadly, indicates the potential of exporter engineering.
2012 by Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry