Research News

Engineering Yeast Enables High-level Production of Diterpenoid Sclareol

Posted: 2022-11-17

Sclareol, a precursor for synthesis of fragrant chemical compound Ambrox, is traditionally extracted from the flowers and leaves of Salvia sclarea. However, it requires laborious and cost-intensive purification procedures due to the low concentration of sclareol in complex mixtures.

Recently, a research group led by Prof. ZHOU Yongjin from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has established a synthetic biology approach for diterpenoid production. They systematically engineered the brewing yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce sclareol.

This study was published in Metabolic Engineering on Nov. 9.

Engineering yeast for high-level production of diterpenoid sclareol (Image by CAO Xuan)

The researchers systematically engineered brewing yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae for overproduction of sclareol by engineering the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathways. This revired its central metabolism and enhanced supply of precursor and cofactor.

For convenient manipulation, they developed a metabolic transforming strategy to transform a fatty-overproducing strain Y&Z036 toward sclareol overproduction at a modular manner, which facilitated the construction of versatile cell factories.

"Transcriptome and metabolic flux analysis showed that the global metabolic rewiring improved diterpenoid biosynthesis. Our strategy may improve the production of other acetyl-CoA-derived molecules," said Prof. ZHOU.

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Key project at central government level. (Text by CAO Xuan)