Metabolic engineering of isoprenoid production: Reconstruction of multistep heterologous pathways in tractable hosts
Book chapter, 2013
Isoprenoids represent a wide group of chemically active compounds that can find a wide range of applications as flavors, perfumes, vitamins, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceuticals. Many isoprenoids are naturally produced in very low quantities by plants, which make their use in broader perspectives difficult. Microbial production of plant-originating isoprenoids quickly appeared as an alternative of choice. Metabolic engineering methods were applied and proved successful to improve the supply of precursors to derive toward isoprenoid compounds of interest. Combinations between metabolic engineering and the flourishing field of synthetic biology have also been observed with researchers attempting to reconstruct and optimize complex biosynthetic pathways in well-characterized and tractable microbial hosts. In this chapter, we review recent metabolic engineering studies for isoprenoid production in yeast and try to show, through key examples, that the fields of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering can go hand in hand to establish microbial cell factories for isoprenoid production.