Metabolic engineering for the production of fat-soluble vitamins: advances and perspectives.


Key Laboratory of Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, 214122, China. [Email]


Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins that are insoluble in water, soluble in fat, and organic solvents; they are found in minute amount in various foods. Fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, have been widely used in food, cosmetics, health care products, and pharmaceutical industries. Fat-soluble vitamins are currently produced via biological and chemical synthesis. In recent years, fat-soluble vitamin production by biotechnological routes has been regarded as a very promising approach. Based on biosynthetic pathways, considerable advances of α-tocopherol and β-carotenes have been achieved in transgenic plants and microalgae. Microbial fermentation, as an alternative method for the production of vitamin K and β-carotenes, is attracting considerable attention because it is an environment friendly process. In this review, we address the function and applications of fat-soluble vitamins, and an overview of current developments in the production of fat-soluble vitamins in transgenic plants, microalgae, and microorganisms. We focus on the metabolic and process engineering strategies for improving production of fat-soluble vitamins, and we hope this review can be useful for the people who are interested in the production of fat-soluble vitamins by biotechnological routes.


Fat-soluble vitamins,Microalgae biosynthetic product,Microbial production,Systems metabolic engineering,Transgenic plant production,

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