Fermentation strategies for production of pharmaceutical terpenoids in engineered yeast

Erdem Carsanba, Manuela Pintado, Carla Oliveira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Terpenoids, also known as isoprenoids, are a broad and diverse class of plant natural products with significant industrial and pharmaceutical importance. Many of these natural products have antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antimalarial effects, support transdermal absorption, prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases, and have hypoglycemic activities. Production of these compounds are generally carried out through extraction from their natural sources or chemical synthesis. However, these processes are generally unsustainable, produce low yield, and result in wasting of substantial resources, most of them limited. Microbial production of terpenoids provides a sustainable and environment-friendly alternative. In recent years, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has become a suitable cell factory for industrial terpenoid biosynthesis due to developments in omics studies (genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics), and mathematical modeling. Besides that, fermentation development has a significant importance on achieving high titer, yield, and productivity (TYP) of these compounds. Up to now, there have been many studies and reviews reporting metabolic strategies for terpene biosynthesis. However, fermentation strategies have not been yet comprehensively discussed in the literature. This review summarizes recent studies of recombinant production of pharmaceutically important terpenoids by engineered yeast, S. cerevisiae, with special focus on fermentation strategies to increase TYP in order to meet industrial demands to feed the pharmaceutical market. Factors affecting recombinant terpenoids production are reviewed (strain design and fermentation parameters) and types of fermentation process (batch, fed-batch, and continuous) are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number295
Number of pages29
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Terpenoids
  • S. cerevisiae
  • Pharmaceutics
  • Fermentation
  • Fed-batch


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