The group around Daisuke UMENO has developed a technique to construct artificial biosynthetic pathways from non-specific enzymes. Based on the assembly of a six-enzyme pathway in E. coli and judicious matching of engineered size-selectivity variants of the first two enzymes, branching into undesired side-products could be suppressed and, after extension of the pathway by further enzymes, led to a highly selective pathway for astaxanthin.

JST news release, July 14, 2015