Topic "Creating new metabolic & regulatory networks"

A few words

The development of microbial cell factories

In this topic we aimed to develop innovative and original biotechnological processes using microorganisms as cell factory for upgrading renewable carbon resources into bioproducts. We created microbial cell factories by equipping various microorganisms of industrial interest (i.e. E. coli, B. methanolicus, Y. lipolytica) with novel functions that do not necessarily exist in nature. We mix and match metabolic enzymes or regulatory proteins from different species to extend both the substrates and the products portfolio of the microorganisms. Analyzing the integrated response of the cell to these new metabolic or regulatory networks helps to determine the minimum elements required for processing the desired function and thus to understand it (See Topic 1).

Ongoing projects


In this project, we propose to replace food-competing feedstocks of industrial biotechnology with methanol for a circular bioeconomy. Methanol is an interesting renewable carbon resource as it can be produced from CO2 thus mitigating the climate changes. The work in this project focuses on (i) extending the product line of a native methylotrophic bacterium B. methanolius by expressing new metabolic pathways for the methanol-based production of value-added products; (ii) reprograming the food diet of E. coli by implementing a novel synthetic pathway for methanol assimilation and (iii) optimizing the functioning of these pathways by rational and evolutionary engineering.


Societies are facing environmental crisis like the rise of CO2 emissions and the accumulation of plastics waste. Turning CO2 into biodegradable plastics is a promising option to capture large amounts of CO2 while reducing plastic pollution. This is what COLHYBRID aims to do by proposing to transform one of the storage products of CO2 (i. e. methanol) into a precursor of a biodegradable plastic’s monomer using a synthetic methylotroph E. coli.


Implementing a non-native metabolism is a challenging task that requires rewiring the cellular metabolism to recognize a new carbon source. In this project, we propose to use synthetic biology to integrate the methanol assimilation with the global cellular processes in E. coli by building a semi-synthetic regulon that responds to methanol.E coli pour l’assimilation d’une nouvelle source de carbone tel que le méthanol est une tâche difficile. Elle ne nécessite pas seulement d’équiper E. coli avec une voie méthylotrophique synthétique. Il est également indispensable d’intégrer cette nouvelle fonctionnalité métabolique avec les processus cellulaires globaux. C’est ce que nous proposons de faire dans ce projet en construisant un réseau de régulation semi-synthétique qui répond au méthanol et active l’ensemble des processus cellulaires natifs d’ E. coli.