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Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Metabolic engineering of Bacillus subtilis for terpenoid production.


PMID 26373726

Abstract

Terpenoids are the largest group of small-molecule natural products, with more than 60,000 compounds made from isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and its isomer dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). As the most diverse group of small-molecule natural products, terpenoids play an important role in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries. For decades, Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) were extensively studied to biosynthesize terpenoids, because they are both fully amenable to genetic modifications and have vast molecular resources. On the other hand, our literature survey (20 years) revealed that terpenoids are naturally more widespread in Bacillales. In the mid-1990s, an inherent methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway was discovered in Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis). Since B. subtilis is a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) organism and has long been used for the industrial production of proteins, attempts to biosynthesize terpenoids in this bacterium have aroused much interest in the scientific community. This review discusses metabolic engineering of B. subtilis for terpenoid production, and encountered challenges will be discussed. We will summarize some major advances and outline future directions for exploiting the potential of B. subtilis as a desired "cell factory" to produce terpenoids.