Pathway Discovery and Engineering for Cleavage of a ß-1 Lignin- Derived Biaryl Compound

Gerald Presley, Allison Werner, Rui Katahira, David Garcia, Stefan Haugen, Kelsey Ramirez, Richard Giannone, Gregg Beckham, Joshua Michener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus Citations


Lignin biosynthesis typically results in a polymer with several inter-monomer bond linkages, and the heterogeneity of linkages presents a challenge for depolymerization processes. While several enzyme classes have been shown to cleave common dimer linkages in lignin, the pathway of bacterial β-1 spirodienone linkage cleavage has not been elucidated. Here, we identified a pathway for cleavage of 1,2-diguaiacylpropane-1,3-diol (DGPD), a β-1 linked biaryl representative of a ring-opened spirodienone linkage, in Novosphingobium aromaticivorans DSM12444. In vitro assays using cell lysates demonstrated that RS14230 (LsdE) converts DGPD to a lignostilbene intermediate, which the carotenoid oxygenase, LsdA, then converts to vanillin. A Pseudomonas putida KT2440 strain engineered with lsdEA expression catabolizes erythro-DGPD, but not threo-DGPD. We further engineered P. putida to convert DGPD to a product, cis,cis-muconic acid. Overall, this work demonstrates the potential to identify new enzymatic reactions in N. aromaticivorans and expands the biological funnel of P. putida for microbial lignin valorization.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMetabolic Engineering
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-2A00-80338 for corrigendum

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2A00-78148


  • Dimer catabolism
  • Lignin valorization
  • Novosphingobium aromaticivorans DSM12444
  • Pseudomonas putida KT2440


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