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Biotechnol J. 2010 Jun;5(6):560-77. doi: 10.1002/biot.201000032.

Metabolic pathways and fermentative production of L-aspartate family amino acids.

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Metabolic and Biomolecular Engineering National Research Laboratory, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (BK21 program), BioProcess Engineering Research Center, and Center for Systems and Synthetic Biotechnology, Institute for the BioCentury, KAIST, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.


The L-aspartate family amino acids (AFAAs), L-threonine, L-lysine, L-methionine and L-isoleucine have recently been of much interest due to their wide spectrum of applications including food additives, components of cosmetics and therapeutic agents, and animal feed additives. Among them, L-threonine, L-lysine and L-methionine are three major amino acids produced currently throughout the world. Recent advances in systems metabolic engineering, which combine various high-throughput omics technologies and computational analysis, are now facilitating development of microbial strains efficiently producing AFAAs. Thus, a thorough understanding of the metabolic and regulatory mechanisms of the biosynthesis of these amino acids is urgently needed for designing system-wide metabolic engineering strategies. Here we review the details of AFAA biosynthetic pathways, regulations involved, and export and transport systems, and provide general strategies for successful metabolic engineering along with relevant examples. Finally, perspectives of systems metabolic engineering for developing AFAA overproducers are suggested with selected exemplary studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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