Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.13, 5367-5381, 2021
Metabolic engineering for the synthesis of steviol glycosides: current status and future prospects
With the pursuit of natural non-calorie sweeteners, steviol glycosides (SGs) have become one of the most popular natural sweeteners in the market. The SGs in Stevia are a mixture of SGs synthesized from steviol (a terpenoid). SGs are diterpenoids. Different SGs depend on the number and position of sugar groups on the core steviol backbone. This diversity comes from the processing of glycoside steviol by various glycosyltransferases. Due to the differences in glycosylation, each SG has unique sensory properties. At present, it is more complicated to extract high-quality SGs from plants, so the excavation of the metabolic pathways of engineered microorganisms to synthesize SGs has been extensively studied. Specifically, the expression of different glycosyltransferases in microbes is key to the synthesis of various SGs by engineered microorganisms. To trigger more researches on the functional characterization of the enzymes encoded by these genes, this review describes the latest research progresses of the related enzymes involved in SG biosynthesis and metabolic engineering.