Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 85, Issue 3, pp 491–506 | Cite as

Fermentative production of branched chain amino acids: a focus on metabolic engineering

  • Jin Hwan Park
  • Sang Yup LeeEmail author


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.


Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) l-Valine l-Leucine l-Isoleucine Systems metabolic engineering Fermentation 



This work was supported by the Korea–Australia Collaborative Research Project on the Development of Sucrose-Based Bioprocess Platform (N02071165) from the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy and by the Korean Systems Biology Program (No. M10309020000-03B5002-00000) from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST). Further supports by LG Chem Chair Professorship, Microsoft, World Class University Program of MEST, and IBM-SUR program are greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BioProcess Engineering Research CenterKAISTDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Center for Systems and Synthetic BiotechnologyKAISTDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Institute for the BioCenturyKAISTDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Bio and Brain EngineeringKAISTDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Bioinformatics Research CenterKAISTDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Department of Biological SciencesKAISTDaejeonRepublic of Korea

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