Production efficiency of the bacterial non-ribosomal peptide indigoidine relies on the respiratory metabolic state in S. cerevisiae

Maren Wehrs, Jan-Philip Prahl, Jadie Moon, Yuchen Li, Deepti Tanjore, Jay D. Keasling, Todd Pray, Aindrila Mukhopadhyay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background: Beyond pathway engineering, the metabolic state of the production host is critical in maintaining the efficiency of cellular production. The biotechnologically important yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae adjusts its energy metabolism based on the availability of oxygen and carbon sources. This transition between respiratory and non-respiratory metabolic state is accompanied by substantial modifications of central carbon metabolism, which impact the efficiency of metabolic pathways and the corresponding final product titers. Non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) are an important class of biocatalysts that provide access to a wide array of secondary metabolites. Indigoidine, a blue pigment, is a representative NRP that is valuable by itself as a renewably produced pigment. Results: Saccharomyces cerevisiae was engineered to express a bacterial NRPS that converts glutamine to indigoidine. We characterize carbon source use and production dynamics, and demonstrate that indigoidine is solely produced during respiratory cell growth. Production of indigoidine is abolished during non-respiratory growth even under aerobic conditions. By promoting respiratory conditions via controlled feeding, we scaled the production to a 2L bioreactor scale, reaching a maximum titer of 980mg/L.Conclusions: This study represents the first use of the Streptomyces lavendulae NRPS (BpsA) in a fungal host and its scale-up. The final product indigoidine is linked to the activity of the TCA cycle and serves as a reporter for the respiratory state of S. cerevisiae. Our approach can be broadly applied to investigate diversion of flux from central carbon metabolism for NRPS and other heterologous pathway engineering, or to follow a population switch between respiratory and non-respiratory modes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number193
JournalMicrobial Cell Factories
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Indigoidine
  • Metabolic state
  • TCA cycle activity
  • Non-ribosomal peptide synthesis
  • Bioreactor
  • BpsA
  • BJ5465
  • S. cerevisiae

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