Pathway transfer in fungi: Transporters are the key to success

L. van der Straat, L.H. de Graaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Itaconic acid is an important building block for the chemical industry. Currently, Aspergillus terreus is the main organism used for itaconic acid production. Due to the enormous citric acid production capacity of Aspergillus niger, this host is investigated as a potential itaconic acid production host. Several strategies have been tried so far: fermentation optimization, expression of cis-aconitate decarboxylase (cadA) alone and in combination with aconitase targeted to the same compartment, chassis optimization, and the heterologous expression of two transporters flanking the cadA gene. We showed that the heterologous expression of these two transporters were key to improving itaconic acid production in an A. niger strain that was unable to produce oxalic acid and gluconic acid. The expression of transporters has increased the production levels of other industrially relevant processes as well, such as ß-lactam antibiotics and bioethanol. Thus far, the role of transporters in production process optimization is a bit overlooked.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-339
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • itaconic acid production
  • saccharomyces-cerevisiae
  • lactococcus-lactis
  • aspergillus-niger
  • cephalosporin production
  • penicillium-chrysogenum
  • functional expression
  • membrane-proteins
  • ceft gene
  • overproduction

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