Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 16, pp 2671–2690 | Cite as

Metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a key cell factory platform for future biorefineries

  • Kuk-Ki Hong
  • Jens NielsenEmail author


Metabolic engineering is the enabling science of development of efficient cell factories for the production of fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and food ingredients through microbial fermentations. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a key cell factory already used for the production of a wide range of industrial products, and here we review ongoing work, particularly in industry, on using this organism for the production of butanol, which can be used as biofuel, and isoprenoids, which can find a wide range of applications including as pharmaceuticals and as biodiesel. We also look into how engineering of yeast can lead to improved uptake of sugars that are present in biomass hydrolyzates, and hereby allow for utilization of biomass as feedstock in the production of fuels and chemicals employing S. cerevisiae. Finally, we discuss the perspectives of how technologies from systems biology and synthetic biology can be used to advance metabolic engineering of yeast.


Metabolic engineering Yeast Substrate range Biobutanol Isoprenoids Industrial biotechnology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Novo Nordisk Centre for BiosustainabilityDepartment of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Research Institute of BiotechnologySeoulKorea

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