Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.13, 5309-5324, 2021
Understanding D-xylonic acid accumulation: a cornerstone for better metabolic engineering approaches
The xylose oxidative pathway (XOP) has been engineered in microorganisms for the production of a wide range of industrially relevant compounds. However, the performance of metabolically engineered XOP-utilizing microorganisms is typically hindered by D-xylonic acid accumulation. It acidifies the media and perturbs cell growth due to toxicity, thus curtailing enzymatic activity and target product formation. Fortunately, from the growing portfolio of genetic tools, several strategies that can be adapted for the generation of efficient microbial cell factories have been implemented to address D-xylonic acid accumulation. This review centers its discussion on the causes of D-xylonic acid accumulation and how to address it through different engineering and synthetic biology techniques with emphasis given on bacterial strains. In the first part of this review, the ability of certain microorganisms to produce and tolerate D-xylonic acid is also tackled as an important aspect in developing efficient microbial cell factories. Overall, this review could shed some insights and clarity to those working on XOP in bacteria and its engineering for the development of industrially applicable product-specialist strains.