Ginsenosides are the primary bioactive components of ginseng, which is a popular medicinal herb and exhibits diverse pharmacological activities. Protopanaxadiol is the aglycon of several dammarane-type ginsenosides, which also has anticancer activity. For microbial production of protopanaxadiol, dammarenediol-II synthase and protopanaxadiol synthase genes of Panax ginseng, together with a NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase gene of Arabidopsis thaliana, were introduced into Saccharomyces cerevisiae, resulting in production of 0.05 mg/g DCW protopanaxadiol. Increasing squalene and 2,3-oxidosqualene supplies through overexpressing truncated 3-hydroxyl-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase, farnesyl diphosphate synthase, squalene synthase and 2,3-oxidosqualene synthase genes, together with increasing protopanaxadiol synthase activity through codon optimization, led to 262-fold increase of protopanaxadiol production. Finally, using two-phase extractive fermentation resulted in production of 8.40 mg/g DCW protopanaxadiol (1189 mg/L), together with 10.94 mg/g DCW dammarenediol-II (1548 mg/L). The yeast strains engineered in this work can serve as the basis for creating an alternative way for production of ginsenosides in place of extraction from plant sources.
Keywords: Dammarenediol-II; Ginsenosides; Metabolic engineering; Protopanaxadiol; Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
© 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.