Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.102, No.20, 8613-8620, 2018
Formation of folates by microorganisms: towards the biotechnological production of this vitamin
Folates (vitamin B-9) are essential micronutrients which function as cofactors in one-carbon transfer reactions involved in the synthesis of nucleotides and amino acids. Folate deficiency is associated with important diseases such as cancer, anemia, cardiovascular diseases, or neural tube defects. Epidemiological data show that folate deficiency is still highly prevalent in many populations. Hence, food fortification with synthetic folic acid (i.e., folic acid supplementation) has become mandatory in many developed countries. However, folate biofortification of staple crops and dairy products as well as folate bioproduction using metabolically engineered microorganisms are promising alternatives to folic acid supplementation. Here, we review the current strategies aimed at overproducing folates in microorganisms, in view to implement an economic feasible process for the biotechnological production of the vitamin.