Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Chem Biol. 2012 May 17;8(6):536-46. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.970.

Systems metabolic engineering of microorganisms for natural and non-natural chemicals.

Author information

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering-Brain Korea 21 program, Center for Systems and Synthetic Biotechnology, Institute for the BioCentury, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.


Growing concerns over limited fossil resources and associated environmental problems are motivating the development of sustainable processes for the production of chemicals, fuels and materials from renewable resources. Metabolic engineering is a key enabling technology for transforming microorganisms into efficient cell factories for these compounds. Systems metabolic engineering, which incorporates the concepts and techniques of systems biology, synthetic biology and evolutionary engineering at the systems level, offers a conceptual and technological framework to speed the creation of new metabolic enzymes and pathways or the modification of existing pathways for the optimal production of desired products. Here we discuss the general strategies of systems metabolic engineering and examples of its application and offer insights as to when and how each of the different strategies should be used. Finally, we highlight the limitations and challenges to be overcome for the systems metabolic engineering of microorganisms at more advanced levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center