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L-Theanine, found in green tea leaves has been shown to positively affect immunity and relaxation in humans. There have been many attempts to produce L-theanine through enzymatic synthesis to overcome the limitations of traditional methods. Among the many genes coding for enzymes in the L-theanine biosynthesis, glutamylmethylamide synthetase (GMAS) exhibits the greatest possibility of producing large amounts of production. Thus, GMAS from Methylovorus mays No. 9 was overexpressed in several strains including vectors with different copy numbers. BW25113(DE3) cells containing the pET24ma::gmas was selected for strains. The optimal temperature, pH, and metal ion concentration were 50°C, 7, and 5 mM MnCl2, respectively. Additionally, ATP was found to be an important factor for producing high concentration of L-theanine so several strains were tested during the reaction for ATP regeneration. Bakers yeast was found to decrease the demand for ATP most effectively. Addition of potassium phosphate source was demonstrated by producing 4-fold higher L-theanine. To enhance the conversion yield, GMAS was additionally overexpressed in the system. A maximum of 198 mM L-theanine was produced with 16.5 mmol/l/h productivity. The whole-cell reaction involving GMAS has greatest potential for scale-up production of L-theanine.


Soo-Yeon Yang, Yeong-Hoon Han, Ye-Lim Park, Jun-Young Park, So-Young No, Daham Jeong, Saerom Park, Hyung Yeon Park, Wooseong Kim, Seung-Oh Seo, Yung-Hun Yang. Production of L-Theanine Using Escherichia coli Whole-Cell Overexpressing γ-Glutamylmethylamide Synthetase with Bakers Yeast. Journal of microbiology and biotechnology. 2020 May 28;30(5):785-792

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PMID: 32482946

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