Biosynthesis of very long-chain fatty alcohols and wax esters in metabolically engineered strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Journal article, 2016
The objective of our research is the biosynthesis of very long-chain fatty alcohols (VLCFAlcs) and wax esters (WEs) in S. cerevisiae. VLCFAlcs and WEs have a broad application range and can be used for many commercial purposes. The applications of WEs include personal care products, lubricants, varnishes, inks, detergents, resins & plastics. WEs can also be used for coatings (for fruits & pills) and as an oil phase in formulas containing active compounds to enhance the efficiency of topical drugs.VLCFAlcs, like docosanol, are used as an emollient, emulsifier and thickener in cosmetics as well as a nutritional supplement. Unfortunately, at present most of the possible applications are limited to cosmetic and medical products due to the high price for WE isolation from their natural host, the plant Simmondsia chinensis. Because of this fact, a renewable approach for low-cost production of VLCFAlcs and WEs in a well-studied organism like S. cerevisiae is desirable. The in vitro and in vivo synthesis of different WEs up to C36 has already been shown in S. cerevisiae, but these WEs do not show the mentioned desired properties for commercial use. The in vivo synthesis of WE up to C44 in S. cerevisiae has so far only been achieved after substrate feeding. In our approach we demonstrate that the heterologous expression of specific fatty acyl-CoA reductases (FARs), enzymes required for alcohol synthesis, and wax synthases (WSs), enzymes responsible for WE synthesis, allow the in vivo synthesis of VLCFAlcs up to C22 and VLCWEs up to C42.
Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology