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Sandalwood oil has been widely used in perfumery industries and aromatherapy. Santalols are its major components. Herein, we attempted to construct santalol-producing yeasts. To alter flux from predominant triterpenoid/steroid biosynthesis to sesquiterpenoid production, expression of ERG9 (encoding yeast squalene synthase) was depressed by replacing its innate promotor with PHXT1 and fermenting the resulting strains in galactose-rich media. And the genes related to santalol biosynthesis were overexpressed under control of GAL promotors, which linked santalol biosynthesis to GAL regulatory system. GAL4 (a transcriptional activator of GAL promotors) and PGM2 (a yeast phosphoglucomutase) were overexpressed to overall promote this artificial santalol biosynthetic pathway and enhance galactose uptake. 1.3 g/L santalols and 1.2 g/L Z-α-santalol were achieved in the strain WL17 expressing SaSS (α-santalene synthase from Santalum album) and WL19 expressing SanSyn (α-santalene synthase from Clausena lansium) by fed-batch fermentation, respectively. This study constructed the microbial santalol-producing platform for the first time.


Wenlong Zha, Tianyue An, Ting Li, Jianxun Zhu, Ke Gao, Zhenjiao Sun, Wendong Xu, Pengcheng Lin, Jiachen Zi. Reconstruction of the Biosynthetic Pathway of Santalols under Control of the GAL Regulatory System in Yeast. ACS synthetic biology. 2020 Feb 21;9(2):449-456

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PMID: 31940436

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