This project focuses on the increasing interest in the production of chemical building blocks like itaconic acid by microbial conversions. These building blocks have to compete with their petrochemical counterparts, and yield and productivity of the microbial processes are therefore of the utmost importance.
The goal of the project is making strains of S. cerevisiae that are able to produce itaconic acid under anaerobic conditions, by coproducing it with a product whose synthesis regenerates NAD. If successful this will result in an itaconic acid production process with higher substrate efficiencies and productivities than the contemporary process. The project will start with E. coli as host, but as soon a S. cerevisiae strain is available with a sufficient availability of cytosolic acetyl-CoA, focus will shift to the yeast strain.