Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 98, Issue 10, pp 4355–4368 | Cite as

Metabolic engineering for the microbial production of carotenoids and related products with a focus on the rare C50 carotenoids

  • Sabine A. E. Heider
  • Petra Peters-Wendisch
  • Volker F. Wendisch
  • Jules Beekwilder
  • Trygve Brautaset
Mini-Review

Abstract

Carotenoids, a subfamily of terpenoids, are yellow- to red-colored pigments synthesized by plants, fungi, algae, and bacteria. They are ubiquitous in nature and take over crucial roles in many biological processes as for example photosynthesis, vision, and the quenching of free radicals and singlet oxygen. Due to their color and their potential beneficial effects on human health, carotenoids receive increasing attention. Carotenoids can be classified due to the length of their carbon backbone. Most carotenoids have a C40 backbone, but also C30 and C50 carotenoids are known. All carotenoids are derived from isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) as a common precursor. Pathways leading to IPP as well as metabolic engineering of IPP synthesis and C40 carotenoid production have been reviewed expertly elsewhere. Since C50 carotenoids are synthesized from the C40 carotenoid lycopene, we will summarize common strategies for optimizing lycopene production and we will focus our review on the characteristics, biosynthesis, glycosylation, and overproduction of C50 carotenoids.

Keywords

Metabolic engineering of carotenoids C50 carotenoids Lycopene elongase C50 carotenoid cyclase C50 carotenoid glucosyltransferase 

Notes

Acknowledgements

SAEH, PPW and VFW acknowledge the support in part by grants from BMBF project 0316017A and from EU project PROMYSE. JB acknowledges the “Platform Green Synthetic Biology” program (http://www.pgsb.nl/) funded by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative for financial support. TB acknowledges the support in part by EU project PROMYSE.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabine A. E. Heider
    • 1
  • Petra Peters-Wendisch
    • 1
  • Volker F. Wendisch
    • 1
  • Jules Beekwilder
    • 2
  • Trygve Brautaset
    • 3
  1. 1.Chair of Genetics of Prokaryotes, Faculty of Biology & CeBiTecBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany
  2. 2.Plant Research InternationalWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Molecular BiologySINTEF Materials and ChemistryTrondheimNorway

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