Redirection of lipid flux toward phospholipids in yeast increases fatty acid turnover and secretion

Raphael Ferreira, Paulo Goncalves Teixeiraa, Verena Siewers, Jens Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

210 Downloads (Pure)


Bio-based production of fatty acids and fatty acid-derived products can enable sustainable substitution of petroleum-derived fuels and chemicals. However, developing new microbial cell factories for producing high levels of fatty acids requires extensive engineering of lipid metabolism, a complex and tightly regulated metabolic network. Here we generated a Saccharomyces cerevisiae platform strain with a simplified lipid metabolism network with high-level production of free fatty acids (FFAs) due to redirected fatty acid metabolism and reduced feedback regulation. Deletion of the main fatty acid activation genes (the first step in ss-oxidation), main storage lipid formation genes, and phosphatidate phosphatase genes resulted in a constrained lipid metabolic network in which fatty acid flux was directed to a large extent toward phospholipids. This resulted in simultaneous increases of phospholipids by up to 2.8-fold and of FFAs by up to 40-fold compared with wild-type levels. Further deletion of phospholipase genes PLB1 and PLB2 resulted in a 46% decrease in FFA levels and 105% increase in phospholipid levels, suggesting that phospholipid hydrolysis plays an important role in FFA production when phospholipid levels are increased. The multiple deletion mutant generated allowed for a study of fatty acid dynamics in lipid metabolism and represents a platform strain with interesting properties that provide insight into the future development of lipid-related cell factories.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1262-1267
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).


  • Phospholipids
  • Free fatty acids
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Metabolic engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Redirection of lipid flux toward phospholipids in yeast increases fatty acid turnover and secretion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this