The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae produces ethanol and glycerol as major unwanted byproducts, unless ethanol and glycerol are the target compounds. Minimizing the levels of these byproducts is important for bioproduction processes using yeast cells. In this study, we constructed a yeast strain in which both ethanol and glycerol production pathways were disrupted and examined its culture characteristics. In wild-type yeast strain, metabolic pathways that produce ethanol and glycerol play an important role in reoxidizing nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) generated during glycolysis, particularly under anaerobic conditions. Strains in which both pathways were disrupted therefore failed to grow and consume glucose under anaerobic conditions. Introduction of desired metabolic reaction(s) coupled with NADH oxidation enabled the engineered strain to consume substrate and produce target compound(s). Here we introduced NADH-oxidization-coupled L-lactate production mechanisms into a yeast strain incapable of ethanol and glycerol biosynthesis, based on in silico simulation using a genome-scale metabolic model of S. cerevisiae. From the results of in silico simulation based on flux balance analysis, a feasible anaerobic non-growing metabolic state, in which L-lactate yield approached the theoretical maximum, was identified and this phenomenon was verified experimentally. The yeast strain incapable of both ethanol and glycerol biosynthesis is a potentially valuable host for bioproduction coupled with NADH oxidation under anaerobic conditions.
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