S30 Re-inventing central carbon metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for high-volume production of isoprenoids
Monday, July 21, 2014: 1:30 PM
Regency Ballroom D, Second Floor (St. Louis Hyatt Regency at the Arch)
Microbially derived complex anabolic compounds such as isoprenoids have previously been confined to applications in the pharmaceutical or specialty chemical industries, in part because the energetic costs of biosynthesis translate to high production costs. Here, we design and construct an alternative carbon metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae which reduces the metabolic cost of converting glucose to farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP), the universal precursor for all sesquiterpene isoprenoids. By partitioning glucose dissimilation between parallel heterologous routes and by altering the cofactor requirements of FPP biosynthesis, we dramatically improve internal pathway balance, reducing reliance upon CO2-emitting and oxygen-consuming side-reactions to maintain redox homeostasis and energy charge. The result is a 20% improvement in the theoretical yield of farnesene from glucose (g/g), and a 170% improvement in the theoretical yield of farnesene from oxygen (mol/mol). We transplant the synthetic metabolic network into a strain of S. cerevisiae that was previously engineered for commercial-scale production of farnesene, a commercially important molecule whose derivatives can be used in a wide variety of applications ranging from fuels to novel performance materials. In this strain background, we observe an 80% increase in the molar yield of farnesene from oxygen, which translates directly to an 80% increase in the volume of farnesene that can be produced per unit time from fixed fermentation capacity under industrial oxygen-limited conditions. This improvement in productivity enables microbial production of an anabolic secondary metabolite at a scale previously accessible only to catabolites and primary metabolites.