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Biotechnology Advances
Volume 55, 2022, 107912

Microbial cell surface engineering for high-level synthesis of bio-products

Xia Wu, Jingyi Liu, Zhiqiang Liu, Guoli Gong, Jian Zha

School of Food and Biological Engineering, Shaanxi University of Science and Technology, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710021, China.


Microbial cell surface layers, which mainly include the cell membrane, cell wall, periplasmic space, outer membrane, capsules, S-layers, pili, and flagella, control material exchange between the cell and the extracellular environment, and have great impact on production titers and yields of various bio-products synthesized by microbes. Recent research work has made exciting achievements in metabolic engineering using microbial cell surface components as novel regulation targets without direct modifications of the metabolic pathways of the desired products. This review article will summarize the accomplishments obtained in this emerging field, and will describe various engineering strategies that have been adopted in bacteria and yeasts for the enhancement of mass transfer across the cell surface, improvement of protein expression and folding, modulation of cell size and shape, and re-direction of cellular resources, all of which contribute to the construction of more efficient microbial cell factories toward the synthesis of a variety of bio-products. The existing problems and possible future directions will also be discussed.

Keywords: Mass transfer, Permeability, Metabolic engineering, Cell surface, Bacteria, Yeast.

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