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Redirection of lipid flux toward phospholipids in yeast increases fatty acid turnover and secretion

By Raphael Ferreira, Paulo Teixeira, Verena Siewers and Jens B Nielsen


Bio-based production of fatty acids and fatty acid-derived products can enable sustainable substitution of petroleum-derived fuels and chemicals. However, developing new microbial cell factories for producing high levels of fatty acids requires extensive engineering of lipid metabolism, a complex and tightly regulated metabolic network. Here we generated a Saccharomyces cerevisiae platform strain with a simplified lipid metabolism network with high-level production of free fatty acids (FFAs) due to redirected fatty acid metabolism and reduced feedback regulation. Deletion of the main fatty acid activation genes (the first step in β-oxidation), main storage lipid formation genes, and phosphatidate phosphatase genes resulted in a constrained lipid metabolic network in which fatty acid flux was directed to a large extent toward phospholipids. This resulted in simultaneous increases of phospholipids by up to 2.8- fold and of FFAs by up to 40-fold compared with wild-type levels. Further deletion of phospholipase genes PLB1 and PLB2 resulted in a 46% decrease in FFA levels and 105% increase in phospholipid levels, suggesting that phospholipid hydrolysis plays an important role in FFA production when phospholipid levels are increased. The multiple deletion mutant generated allowed for a study of fatty acid dynamics in lipid metabolism and represents a platform strain with interesting properties that provide insight into the future development of lipid-related cell factories

Topics: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy), CRISPR, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Metabolic engineering, Phospholipids, Free fatty acids
Publisher: 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences'
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.1073/pnas.1715282115
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Chalmers Research
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