Production of mannosylglycerate in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by metabolic engineering and bioprocess optimization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Mannosylglycerate (MG) is one of the most widespread compatible solutes among marine microorganisms adapted to hot environments. This ionic solute holds excellent ability to protect proteins against thermal denaturation, hence a large number of biotechnological and clinical applications have been put forward. However, the current prohibitive production costs impose severe constraints towards large-scale applications. All known microbial producers synthesize MG from GDP-mannose and 3-phosphoglycerate via a two-step pathway in which mannosyl-3-phosphoglycerate is the intermediate metabolite. In an early work, this pathway was expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae with the goal to confirm gene function (Empadinhas et al. in J Bacteriol 186:4075-4084, 2004), but the level of MG accumulation was low. Therefore, in view of the potential biotechnological value of this compound, we decided to invest further effort to convert S. cerevisiae into an efficient cell factory for MG production. RESULTS: To drive MG production, the pathway for the synthesis of GDP-mannose, one of the MG biosynthetic precursors, was overexpressed in S. cerevisiae along with the MG biosynthetic pathway. MG production was evaluated under different cultivation modes, i.e., flask bottle, batch, and continuous mode with different dilution rates. The genes encoding mannose-6-phosphate isomerase (PMI40) and GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase (PSA1) were introduced into strain MG01, hosting a plasmid encoding the MG biosynthetic machinery. The resulting engineered strain (MG02) showed around a twofold increase in the activity of PMI40 and PSA1 in comparison to the wild-type. In batch mode, strain MG02 accumulated 15.86 mgMG g DCW-1 , representing a 2.2-fold increase relative to the reference strain (MG01). In continuous culture, at a dilution rate of 0.15 h-1, there was a 1.5-fold improvement in productivity. CONCLUSION: In the present study, the yield and productivity of MG were increased by overexpression of the GDP-mannose pathway and optimization of the mode of cultivation. A maximum of 15.86 mgMG g DCW-1 was achieved in batch cultivation and maximal productivity of 1.79 mgMG g DCW-1  h-1 in continuous mode. Additionally, a positive correlation between MG productivity and growth rate/dilution rate was established, although this correlation is not observed for MG yield.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalMicrobial cell factories
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2018


  • Chemostat cultivation
  • Compatible solute
  • GDP-mannose
  • Mannosylglycerate
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Yeast cell factory


Dive into the research topics of 'Production of mannosylglycerate in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by metabolic engineering and bioprocess optimization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this