Document Type

Article

Research Focus Area

Biorenewables

Publication Date

9-3-2013

Journal or Book Title

Frontiers in Microbiology

Volume

4

First Page

272

DOI

10.3389/fmicb.2013.00272

Abstract

Carboxylic acids are an attractive biorenewable chemical in terms of their flexibility and usage as precursors for a variety of industrial chemicals. It has been demonstrated that such carboxylic acids can be fermentatively produced using engineered microbes, such as Escherichia coli andSaccharomyces cerevisiae. However, like many other attractive biorenewable fuels and chemicals, carboxylic acids become inhibitory to these microbes at concentrations below the desired yield and titer. In fact, their potency as microbial inhibitors is highlighted by the fact that many of these carboxylic acids are routinely used as food preservatives. This review highlights the current knowledge regarding the impact that saturated, straight-chain carboxylic acids, such as hexanoic, octanoic, decanoic, and lauric acids can have on E. coli and S. cerevisiae, with the goal of identifying metabolic engineering strategies to increase robustness. Key effects of these carboxylic acids include damage to the cell membrane and a decrease of the microbial internal pH. Certain changes in cell membrane properties, such as composition, fluidity, integrity, and hydrophobicity, and intracellular pH are often associated with increased tolerance. The availability of appropriate exporters, such as Pdr12, can also increase tolerance. The effect on metabolic processes, such as maintaining appropriate respiratory function, regulation of Lrp activity and inhibition of production of key metabolites such as methionine, are also considered. Understanding the mechanisms of biocatalyst inhibition by these desirable products can aid in the engineering of robust strains with improved industrial performance.

Comments

This is an article from Frontiers in Microbiology 4 (2013): 242, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2013.00272.

Rights

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Copyright Owner

Jarboe, Royce and Liu

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Share

COinS