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Proteus mirabilis could convert l-phenylalanine into 2-phenylethanol (2-PE) via the Ehrlich pathway, the amino acid deaminase pathway, and the aromatic amino acid decarboxylase pathway. The aromatic amino acid decarboxylase pathway was proved for the first time in P. mirabilis. In this pathway, l-aromatic amino acid transferase demonstrated a unique catalytic property, transforming 2-penylethylamine into phenylacetaldehyde. Eleven enzymes were supposed to involve in 2-phenylethanol synthesis. The mRNA expression levels of 11 genes were assessed over time by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) in vivo. As a result, the expression of 11 genes was significantly increased, suggesting that P. mirabilis could transform l-phenylalanine into 2-phenylethanol via three pathways under aerobic conditions; nine genes were significantly overexpressed, suggesting that P. mirabilis could synthesize 2-phenylethanol via the Ehrlich pathway under anaerobic conditions. This study reveals the multipath synthetic metabolism for 2-phenylethanol in P. mirabilis and will enrich the new ideas for natural (2-PE) synthesis.


Jinbin Liu, Yajun Bai, Tai-Ping Fan, Xiaohui Zheng, Yujie Cai. Unveiling the Multipath Biosynthesis Mechanism of 2-Phenylethanol in Proteus mirabilis. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2020 Jul 22;68(29):7684-7690

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PMID: 32608230

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