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Efficient homolactic fermentation by Kluyveromyces lactis strains defective in pyruvate utilization and transformed with the heterologous LDH gene

Bianchi, M.M., Brambilla, L., Protani, F., Liu, C.L., Lievense, J., Porro, D.
Applied and environmental microbiology 2001 v.67 no.12 pp. 5621-5625
Kluyveromyces marxianus var. lactis, genetic transformation, gene transfer, lactate dehydrogenase, genes, gene expression, fermentation, pyruvate dehydrogenase (lipoamide), pyruvate decarboxylase, glucose, carbohydrate metabolism, lactic acid, biosynthesis, pyruvic acid
A high yield of lactic acid per gram of glucose consumed and the absence of additional metabolites in the fermentation broth are two important goals of lactic acid production by microorganisms. Both purposes have been previously approached by using a Kluyveromyces lactis yeast strain lacking the single pyruvate decarboxylase gene (KlPDC1) and transformed with the heterologous lactate dehydrogenase gene (LDH). The LDH gene was placed under the control the KlPDC1 promoter, which has allowed very high levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, due to the absence of autoregulation by KlPdc1p. The maximal yield obtained was 0.58 g g(-1), suggesting that a large fraction of the glucose consumed was not converted into pyruvate. In a different attempt to redirect pyruvate flux toward homolactic fermentation, we used K. lactis LDH transformant strains deleted of the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) E1alpha subunit gene. A great process improvement was obtained by the use of producing strains lacking both PDH and pyruvate decarboxylase activities, which showed yield levels of as high as 0.85 g g(-1) (maximum theoretical yield, 1 g g(-1)), and with high LDH activity.