Dynamic regulation of fatty acid pools for improved production of fatty alcohols in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2017

Background: In vivo production of fatty acid-derived chemicals in Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires strategies to increase the intracellular supply of either acyl-CoA or free fatty acids (FFAs), since their cytosolic concentrations are quite low in a natural state for this organism. Deletion of the fatty acyl-CoA synthetase genes FAA1 and FAA4 is an effective and straightforward way to disable re-activation of fatty acids and drastically increase FFA levels. However, this strategy causes FFA over-accumulation and consequential release to the extracellular medium, which results in a significant loss of precursors that compromises the process yield. In the present study, we aimed for dynamic expression of the fatty acyl-CoA synthetase gene FAA1 to regulate FFA and acyl-CoA pools in order to improve fatty alcohol production yields. Results: We analyzed the metabolite dynamics of a faa1 Delta faa4 Delta strain constitutively expressing a carboxylic acid reductase from Mycobacterium marinum (MmCAR) and an endogenous alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh5) for in vivo production of fatty alcohols from FFAs. We observed production of fatty acids and fatty alcohols with different rates leading to high levels of FFAs not being converted to the final product. To address the issue, we expressed the MmCAR + Adh5 pathway together with a fatty acyl-CoA reductase from Marinobacter aquaeolei to enable fatty alcohol production simultaneously from FFA and acyl-CoA, respectively. Then, we expressed FAA1 under the control of different promoters in order to balance FFA and acyl-CoA interconversion rates and to achieve optimal levels for conversion to fatty alcohols. Expressing FAA1 under control of the HXT1 promoter led to an increased accumulation of fatty alcohols per OD600 up to 41% while FFA levels were decreased by 63% compared with the control strain. Conclusions: Fine-tuning and dynamic regulation of key metabolic steps can be used to improve cell factories when the rates of downstream reactions are limiting. This avoids loss of precursors to the extracellular medium or to competing reactions, hereby potentially improving the process yield. The study also provides knowledge of a key point of fatty acid regulation and homeostasis, which can be used for future design of cells factories for fatty acid-derived chemicals.

Metabolic engineering

Dynamic control

Fatty acid activation


Fatty alcohols



Paulo Teixeira

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Systembiologi

Raphael Ferreira

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Systembiologi

Yongjin Zhou

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Systembiologi

Verena Siewers

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Systembiologi

Jens B Nielsen

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Systembiologi

Microbial Cell Factories

14752859 (eISSN)

Vol. 16 1 45- 45


Industriell bioteknik


Chalmers infrastruktur för masspektrometri


Livsvetenskaper och teknik (2010-2018)



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