Carotenoid production by micro organisms, as opposed to chemical synthesis, could fulfill an ever-increasing demand for 'all natural' products. The yeast Phaffia rhodozyma has received considerable attention because it produces the red pigment astaxanthin, commonly used as an animal feed supplement. In order to have a better understanding of its metabolism, labeling experiments with [1-C-13]glucose were conducted with the wildtype strain (CBS5905T) and a hyper-producing carotenoid strain (J4-3) in order to determine their metabolic network structure and estimate intracellular fluxes. Amino acid labeling patterns, as determined by GC-MS, were in accordance with a metabolic network consisting of the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway, the pentose phosphate pathway, and the TCA cycle. Glucose was mainly consumed along the pentose phosphate pathway (similar to65% for wildtype strain), which reflected high NADPH requirements for lipid biosynthesis. Although common to other oleaginous yeast, there was no, or very little, malic enzyme activity for carbon-limited growth. In addition, there was no evidence of phosphoketolase activity. The central carbon metabolism of the mutant strain was similar to that of the wildtype strain, though the relative pentose phosphate flux was lower and the TCA cycle flux in accordance with the biomass yield being lower.
|Publication status||Published - 2004|