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Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2008 Sep;72(3):379-412. doi: 10.1128/MMBR.00025-07.

Progress in metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Genetics, Berlin University of Technology, Seestr. 13, 13353 Berlin, Germany.


The traditional use of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in alcoholic fermentation has, over time, resulted in substantial accumulated knowledge concerning genetics, physiology, and biochemistry as well as genetic engineering and fermentation technologies. S. cerevisiae has become a platform organism for developing metabolic engineering strategies, methods, and tools. The current review discusses the relevance of several engineering strategies, such as rational and inverse metabolic engineering, evolutionary engineering, and global transcription machinery engineering, in yeast strain improvement. It also summarizes existing tools for fine-tuning and regulating enzyme activities and thus metabolic pathways. Recent examples of yeast metabolic engineering for food, beverage, and industrial biotechnology (bioethanol and bulk and fine chemicals) follow. S. cerevisiae currently enjoys increasing popularity as a production organism in industrial ("white") biotechnology due to its inherent tolerance of low pH values and high ethanol and inhibitor concentrations and its ability to grow anaerobically. Attention is paid to utilizing lignocellulosic biomass as a potential substrate.

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