Fermentative production of branched chain amino acids: a focus on metabolic engineering
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The branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), l-valine, l-leucine, and l-isoleucine, have recently been attracting much attention as their potential to be applied in various fields, including animal feed additive, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, increased. Strategies for developing microbial strains efficiently producing BCAAs are now in transition toward systems metabolic engineering from random mutagenesis. The metabolism and regulatory circuits of BCAA biosynthesis need to be thoroughly understood for designing system-wide metabolic engineering strategies. Here we review the current knowledge on BCAAs including their biosynthetic pathways, regulations, and export and transport systems. Recent advances in the development of BCAA production strains are also reviewed with a particular focus on l-valine production strain. At the end, the general strategies for developing BCAA overproducers by systems metabolic engineering are suggested.