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The production of aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is the first step in the biosynthesis of tetrapyrroles and porphyrines (like Chlorophyll, vitamin B12, heme). Recently ALA has attracted interest as a selective and biodegradable herbicide and insecticide. Besides ALA can be applied in the photodynamic therapy and treatment of various kinds of cancer.
Administration of ALA in the tumorous tissue leads to a porphyrin formation inside the cells. Accumulated porphyrins generate reactive oxygene species when excited by light which can lead to death of the tumorous cell.
Currently, the state of the art production of ALA is a biotechnological process using bacterial strains like E. coli with carbohydrates like glucose as C-source.
The present invention focuses on Bacillus methanolicus, a gram-positive bacteria which is able to use C1-compounds like methanol as the only C- and energy source.
Methanol as C-source has the advantage that it is easily accessible and is in contrast to glucose not competing to agricultural or food processes. In addition thereto, the price is not dependent from unforseeable factors like agricultural politics or the weather conditions.
Keywords: Aminolevulinic acid, C1-precursor, vitamin B12, Chlorophyll, Pharma, White Biotech
The described technology enables the fast and competitive production of specific ALA via biotechnological process technology.
On behalf of the University of Bielefeld, PROvendis offers access to rights for commercial use as well as the opportunity for further co-development.
In case of interest we are pleased to inform you about the current patent status.
Zhang et al. Optimization of heme biosynthesis pathway for the production of 5-aminolevulinic acid in Escherichia coli. Sci Rep. 2015; Feb 26;5:8584. Doi: 10.1038/srep08584