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Overview of Catalytic Properties of Fungal Xylose Reductases and Molecular Engineering Approaches for Improved Xylose Utilisation in Yeast

Sk Amir Hossain, Danijel Švec, Vladimir Mrša, Renata Teparic




Background and Objective: Xylose reductases belong to the aldo-keto reductase family of enzymes, which catalyse the conversion of xylose to xylitol. Yeast xylose reductases have been intensively studied in the last two decades due to their significance in biotechnological production of ethanol and xylitol from xylose. Due to its GRAS status and pronounced tolerance to harsh conditions, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the ideal organism for industrial production of both xylitol and ethanol. However, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is unable to use xylose as the sole carbon source due to the lack of xylose specific transporters and insufficient activity of metabolic pathways for xylose utilisation. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of attempts in increasing biotechnological potential of xylose reductases and to highlight the prospective of this application.

Results and Conclusion: In order to create strains with improved xylose utilization, different approaches were attempted including simultaneous overexpression of xylitol dehydrogenase, xylose reductase and pentose phosphate pathway enzymes, heterologous expression of putative xylose transporters or heterologous expression of genes coding for enzymes included in the xylose metabolism, respectively. Furthermore, number of attempts to genetically modify different xylose reductases is increasing. This review presents current knowledge about yeast xylose reductases and the different approaches applied in order to improve xylose metabolism in yeast.

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.


▪ Fungal xylose reductase ▪ Xylitol ▪ Xylose bioconversion ▪ Xylose metabolism


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/afb.v5i2.19233


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