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Modular Metabolic Engineering for Biobased Chemical Production

Lu, Hongyuan, Villada, Juan C., Lee, Patrick K.H.
Trends in biotechnology 2019 v.37 no.2 pp. 152-166
coculture, enzymes, hosts, metabolic engineering, microorganisms, models
Microorganisms can manufacture a wide range of biobased chemicals that are useful for diverse industrial applications. However, the overexpression of heterologous enzymes in recombinant strains often leads to metabolic imbalance, resulting in growth retardation and suboptimal production of the target compounds. Here we discuss the recent development of modular metabolic engineering approaches that enable the global fine-tuning of engineered pathways by modularizing the synthetic pathway in single or multiple hosts. In particular, we highlight applications with microbial consortia. To build a vibrant biobased economy, multivariate modular metabolic engineering (MMME), modular coculture engineering (MCE), and spatiotemporal and integrative genome-scale metabolic modeling can be exploited to expedite strain optimization and improve the production of a broad variety of high-value biobased chemicals.