In collaboration with RIKEN and ZEON Co., Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. has developed new technology capable of efficiently producing isoprene from biomass. Isoprene is used as a raw material for synthetic rubber (polyisoprene rubber). It is based on a new pathway developed in-silico pathway design, cell design and plant science technology. In nature, isoprene is produced from mevalonic acid through a five-step reaction, but the new artificial pathway can transform mevalonic acid to isoprene in two steps. Furthermore, the highly active enzymes evolved have a phenomenal isoprene-producing ability much higher than natural enzymes. Host organism is Escherichia coli.

Yokohama Rubber news release, July 26, 2018