Expression of fungal biosynthetic gene clusters in S. cerevisiae for natural product discovery
Journal article, 2021

Fungi are well known for production of antibiotics and other bioactive secondary metabolites, that can be served as pharmaceuticals, therapeutic agents and industrially useful compounds. However, compared with the characterization of prokaryotic biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), less attention has been paid to evaluate fungal BGCs. This is partially because heterologous expression of eukaryotic gene constructs often requires replacement of original promoters and terminators, as well as removal of intron sequences, and this substantially slow down the workflow in natural product discovery. It is therefore of interest to investigate the possibility and effectiveness of heterologous expression and library screening of intact BGCs without refactoring in industrial friendly microbial cell factories, such as the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here, we discuss the importance of developing new research directions on library screening of fungal BGCs in yeast without refactoring, followed by outlooking prominent opportunities and challenges for future advancement.

Synthetic biology

High-throughput BGC cloning


Cross-species engineering


Natural product discovery


Zihe Liu

Beijing University of Chemical Technology

Zhenquan Lin

Beijing University of Chemical Technology

Jens B Nielsen

Beijing University of Chemical Technology

BioInnovation Institute

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology

2405-805X (eISSN)

Vol. 6 1 20-22

Subject Categories

Developmental Biology


Other Industrial Biotechnology





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