Enhancing fatty acid production by the expression of the regulatory transcription factor FadR

Fuzhong Zhang, Mario Ouellet, Tanveer S. Batth, Paul D. Adams, Christopher J. Petzold, Aindrila Mukhopadhyay, Jay D. Keasling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Fatty acids are important precursors to biofuels. The Escherichia coli FadR is a transcription factor that regulates several processes in fatty acid biosynthesis, degradation, and membrane transport. By tuning the expression of FadR in an engineered E. coli host, we were able to increase fatty acid titer by 7.5-fold over our previously engineered fatty acid-producing strain, reaching 5.2±0.5. g/L and 73% of the theoretical yield. The mechanism by which FadR enhanced fatty acid yield was studied by whole-genome transcriptional analysis (microarray) and targeted proteomics. Overexpression of FadR led to transcriptional changes for many genes, including genes involved in fatty acid pathways. The biggest transcriptional changes in fatty acid pathway genes included fabB, fabF, and accA. Overexpression of any of these genes alone did not result in a high yield comparable to fadR expression, indicating that FadR enhanced fatty acid production globally by tuning the expression levels of many genes to optimal levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-660
Number of pages8
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • FadR
  • Fatty acid production
  • Global regulation
  • Metabolic engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Enhancing fatty acid production by the expression of the regulatory transcription factor FadR'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this