2021 Volume 67 Issue 4 Pages 142-149
Glycerol is an attractive raw material for the production of useful chemicals using microbial cells. We previously identified metabolic engineering targets for the improvement of glycerol assimilation ability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae based on adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) and transcriptome analysis of the evolved cells. We also successfully improved glycerol assimilation ability by the disruption of the RIM15 gene encoding a Greatwall protein kinase together with overexpression of the STL1 gene encoding the glycerol/H+ symporter. To understand glycerol assimilation metabolism in the evolved glycerol-assimilating strains and STL1-overexpressing RIM15 disruptant, we performed metabolic flux analysis using 13C-labeled glycerol. Significant differences in metabolic flux distributions between the strains obtained from the culture after 35 and 85 generations in ALE were not found, indicating that metabolic flux changes might occur in the early phase of ALE (i.e., before 35 generations at least). Similarly, metabolic flux distribution was not significantly changed by RIM15 gene disruption. However, fluxes for the lower part of glycolysis and the TCA cycle were larger and, as a result, flux for the pentose phosphate pathway was smaller in the STL1-overexpressing RIM15 disruptant than in the strain obtained from the culture after 85 generations in ALE. It could be effective to increase flux for the pentose phosphate pathway to improve the glycerol assimilation ability in S. cerevisiae.