Directed Evolution towards Increased Isoprenoid Production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Publication: ResearchPoster – Annual report year: 2009

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Due to declining drug discovery rates from organic synthetic libraries, pharmaceutical companies are turning their attention towards secondary metabolites. Isoprenoids, also known as terpenoids, constitute the largest known group of secondary metabolites isolated to date, encompassing more than 55,000 different compounds including several blockbuster drugs such as paclitaxel and artemisinin. All molecules within this group are biosynthesized from the same precursor called isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP), which is repeatedly polymerized and diversified giving rise to enormous chemical and structural diversity. The most common way of producing these compounds is by organic synthesis. Organic synthesis does however have several disadvantages for production of secondary metabolites such as low yields due to the complex structures, which makes this way of production economically unfeasible. Microbial production can easily be scaled to meet current demands and it is also an environmental benign production method compared to organic synthesis. Thus it would be attractive to engineer a microorganism to produce high amounts of IPP and other immediate prenyl precursors such as geranyl pyrophosphate, farnesyl pyrophosphate and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate for large-scale microbial production of terpenoids. Saccharomyces cerevisiae was chosen as production platform due to its widespread use in industrial production and the waste number of molecular biology tools which is available for its manipulation. The effort for discovering new genetic perturbations, which would results in and increased production of isoprenoids by S. cerevisiae has been very limited. This project is focus on creating diversity within a lycopene producing S. cerevisiae strain by construction of gDNA-, cDNA-, and transposon-libraries. The diversified population of S. cerevisiae clones will afterwards be screened using the isoprenoid molecule lycopene as a model compound, hereby enabling the isolation of phenotypes producing higher amounts of isoprenoid. The property making lycopene ideal for screening is its system of 11 conjugated double bonds, which absorbs light within the visible range resulting in the red color of lycopene. This feature is the cause for the orange/red phenotype of S. cerevisiae strains transformed with the genes encoding lycopene and enables visual screening of yeast colonies, by searching for colonies with more intense red colony coloration which is the result of higher amount of lycopene is being produced and hence high amount of isoprenoid precursor being available. This will elucidate novel genetic targets for increasing isoprenoid production in S. cerevisiae
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2009
StatePublished

Conference

ConferenceSystems Biology as a driver for Industrial Biotechnology
CityIstanbul, Turkey
Period01/01/09 → …
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