Modulating acetate ester and higher alcohol production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae through the cofactor engineering

  • Kun-Qiang Hong
  • Xiao-Meng Fu
  • Sheng-Sheng Dong
  • Dong-guang Xiao
  • Jian DongEmail author
Genetics and Molecular Biology of Industrial Organisms - Original Paper


Flavor production by esters or by higher alcohols play a key role in the sensorial quality of fermented alcoholic beverages. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, the syntheses of esters and higher alcohols are considerably influenced by intracellular CoA levels catalyzed by pantothenate kinase. In this work, we examined the effects of cofactor CoA and acetyl-CoA synthesis on the metabolism of esters and higher alcohols. Strains 12α−BAP2 and 12α+ATF1 where generated by deleting and overexpressing BAP2 (encoded branched-chain amino acid permease) and ATF1 (encoded alcohol acetyl transferases), respectively, in the parent 12α strains. Then, 12α−BAP2+CAB1 and 12α−BAP2+CAB3 strains were obtained by overexpressing CAB1 (encoded pantothenate kinase Cab1) and CAB3 (encoded pantothenate kinase Cab3) in the 12α−BAP2 strain, and 12α−BAP2+CAB1+ATF1 and 12α−BAP2+CAB3+ATF1 were generated by overexpressing ATF1 in the pantothenate kinase overexpression strains. The acetate ester level in 12α−BAP2 was slightly changed relative to that in the control strain 12α, whereas the acetate ester levels in 12α−BAP2+CAB1, 12α−BAP2+CAB3, 12α−BAP2+CAB1+ATF1, and 12α−BAP2+CAB3+ATF1 were distinctly increased (44–118% for ethyl acetate and 18–57% for isoamyl acetate). The levels of n-propanol, methyl-1-butanol, isopentanol, isobutanol, and phenethylol levels were changed and varied among the six engineered strains. The levels of acetate esters and higher alcohols can be modulated by changing the CoA and acetyl-CoA levels. The method proposed in this work supplies a practical means of breeding yeast strains by modulating acetate ester and higher alcohol production.


CoA Acetyl-CoA Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cofactor engineering Acetate ester Higher alcohols 



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, NSAF Joint Fund (31671838), NSAF (21576200) National Natural Science Foundation of China (31471724).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

10295_2019_2176_MOESM1_ESM.doc (3.6 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 3691 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kun-Qiang Hong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiao-Meng Fu
    • 1
  • Sheng-Sheng Dong
    • 1
  • Dong-guang Xiao
    • 1
  • Jian Dong
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Industrial Fermentation Microbiology, Ministry of Education, Tianjin Industrial Microbiology Key Laboratory, College of BiotechnologyTianjin University of Science and TechnologyTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Biochemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering and TechnologyTianjin UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China

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