Towards the Development of Biosynthetic Pathways for the Short Chain Acetate Ester Biosynthesis
Acetate esters are ubiquitous in nature and broadly used for a range of applications including as solvents, aromas, and flavours in the polymer cosmetics, pharmaceutical and beverages industries. In yeast and fruit ripening, alcohol-o-acetyltransferase (AATase, E.C. 126.96.36.199.) is responsible for the biosynthesis of a range short and medium chain esters from an alcohol and an acetyl-CoA. Microbial production of acetate esters has been the focus of a number of metabolic engineering efforts; however, a poor understanding of kinetic characteristics of the AATase family has limited the success of acetate ester biosynthesis via metabolic engineering. The overall goal of the study is to work towards the development of a biosynthesis pathway for the production of acetate esters from the metabolic engineering of AATase enzymes. These studies include 1) activity screening of AATase orthologs from saccharomyces and non-saccharomyces yeast and various fruit species; 2) observation of the acetate ester effect on cell cultures; and 3) substrate channeling simulations of coupled enzyme complexes. These studies of the AATase family can lead to a better understanding of these enzymes and provide insight into the selection of the most suitable candidate to develop a biosynthetic pathway for acetate ester production.