Combined engineering of disaccharide transport and phosphorolysis for enhanced ATP yield from sucrose fermentation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Wesley Leoricy Marques, Robert Mans, Ryan K. Henderson, Eko Roy Marella, Jolanda ter Horst, Erik de Hulster, Bert Poolman, Jean Marc Daran, Jack T. Pronk, Andreas K. Gombert, Antonius J.A. van Maris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


Anaerobic industrial fermentation processes do not require aeration and intensive mixing and the accompanying cost savings are beneficial for production of chemicals and fuels. However, the free-energy conservation of fermentative pathways is often insufficient for the production and export of the desired compounds and/or for cellular growth and maintenance. To increase free-energy conservation during fermentation of the industrially relevant disaccharide sucrose by Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we first replaced the native yeast α-glucosidases by an intracellular sucrose phosphorylase from Leuconostoc mesenteroides (LmSPase). Subsequently, we replaced the native proton-coupled sucrose uptake system by a putative sucrose facilitator from Phaseolus vulgaris (PvSUF1). The resulting strains grew anaerobically on sucrose at specific growth rates of 0.09 ± 0.02 h−1 (LmSPase) and 0.06 ± 0.01 h−1 (PvSUF1, LmSPase). Overexpression of the yeast PGM2 gene, which encodes phosphoglucomutase, increased anaerobic growth rates on sucrose of these strains to 0.23 ± 0.01 h−1 and 0.08 ± 0.00 h−1, respectively. Determination of the biomass yield in anaerobic sucrose-limited chemostat cultures was used to assess the free-energy conservation of the engineered strains. Replacement of intracellular hydrolase with a phosphorylase increased the biomass yield on sucrose by 31%. Additional replacement of the native proton-coupled sucrose uptake system by PvSUF1 increased the anaerobic biomass yield by a further 8%, resulting in an overall increase of 41%. By experimentally demonstrating an energetic benefit of the combined engineering of disaccharide uptake and cleavage, this study represents a first step towards anaerobic production of compounds whose metabolic pathways currently do not conserve sufficient free-energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-133
Number of pages13
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • ATP
  • Chemostat
  • Facilitated diffusion
  • Free-energy conservation
  • Phosphoglucomutase
  • Yeast physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Combined engineering of disaccharide transport and phosphorolysis for enhanced ATP yield from sucrose fermentation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this