Towards bacterial strains overproducing L-tryptophan and other aromatics by metabolic engineering

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2006 Feb;69(6):615-26. doi: 10.1007/s00253-005-0252-y. Epub 2005 Dec 23.


The aromatic amino acids, L-tryptophan, L-phenylalanine, and L-tyrosine, can be manufactured by bacterial fermentation. Until recently, production efficiency of classical aromatic amino-acid-producing mutants had not yet reached a high level enough to make the fermentation method the most economic. With the introduction of recombinant DNA technology, it has become possible to apply more rational approaches to strain improvement. Many recent activities in this metabolic engineering have led to several effective approaches, which include modification of terminal pathways leading to removal of bottleneck or metabolic conversion, engineering of central carbon metabolism leading to increased supply of precursors, and transport engineering leading to reduced intracellular pool of the aromatic amino acids. In this review, advances in metabolic engineering for the production of the aromatic amino acids and useful aromatic intermediates are described with particular emphasis on two representative producer organisms, Corynebacterium glutamicum and Escherichia coli.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids, Aromatic / biosynthesis*
  • Corynebacterium glutamicum / genetics*
  • Corynebacterium glutamicum / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Genetic Engineering*
  • Phenylalanine / biosynthesis
  • Tryptophan / biosynthesis
  • Tyrosine / biosynthesis


  • Amino Acids, Aromatic
  • Tyrosine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Tryptophan