We aimed to manipulate the metabolism of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce lactic acid and search for the potential influence of acid transport across the plasma membrane in this process. Saccharomyces cerevisiae W303-1A is able to use l-lactic acid but its production in our laboratory has not previously been detected. When the l-LDH gene from Lactobacillus casei was expressed in S. cerevisiae W303-1A and in the isogenic mutants jen1?, ady2? and jen1? ady2?, all strains were able to produce lactic acid, but higher titres were achieved in the mutant strains. In strains constitutively expressing both LDH and JEN1 or ADY2, a higher external lactic acid concentration was found when glucose was present in the medium, but when glucose was exhausted, its consumption was more pronounced. These results demonstrate that expression of monocarboxylate permeases influences lactic acid production. Ady2 has been previously characterized as an acetate permease but our results demonstrated its additional role in lactate uptake. Overall, we demonstrate that monocarboxylate transporters Jen1 and Ady2 are modulators of lactic acid production and may well be used to manipulate lactic acid export in yeast cells.
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