Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Stoichiometric network constraints on xylose metabolism by recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Informally Refereed
Authors: Yong-Su Jin, Thomas W. Jeffries
Year: 2004
Type: Miscellaneous Publication
Station: Forest Products Laboratory
Source: Metabolic engineering. Vol. 6 (2004): Pages 229-238.


Metabolic pathway engineering is constrained by the thermodynamic and stoichiometric feasibility of enzymatic activities of introduced genes. Engineering of xylose metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has focused on introducing genes for the initial xylose assimilation steps from Pichia stipitis, a xylose-fermenting yeast, into S. cerevisiae, a yeast raditionally used in ethanol production from hexose. However, recombinant S. cerevisiae created in several laboratories have used xylose oxidatively rather than in the fermentative manner that this yeast metabolizes glucose. To understand the differences between glucose and engineered xylose metabolic networks, we performed a flux balance analysis (FBA) and calculated extreme pathways using a stoichiometric model that describes the biochemistry of yeast cell growth. FBA predicted that the ethanol yield from xylose exhibits a maximum under oxygenlimited conditions, and a fermentation experiment confirmed this finding. Fermentation results were largely consistent with in silico phenotypes based on calculated extreme pathways, which displayed several phases of metabolic phenotype with respect to oxygen availability from anaerobic to aerobic conditions. However, in contrast to the model prediction, xylitol production continued even after the optimum aeration level for ethanol production was attained. These results suggest that oxygen (or some other electron accepting system) is required to resolve the redox imbalance caused by cofactor difference between xylose reductase and xylitol dehydrogenase, and that other factors limit glycolytic flux when xylose is the sole carbon source.


Flux balance analysis, extreme pathways, metabolic phenotype


Jin, Yong-Su; Jeffries, Thomas W. 2004. Stoichiometric network constraints on xylose metabolism by recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Metabolic engineering. Vol. 6 (2004): Pages 229-238.