Nat Biotechnol 2013 Aug 21;31(8):734-40. Epub 2013 Jul 21.
Industrial Biosciences, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, Delaware, USA.
The availability of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is currently limited because they are produced mainly by marine fisheries that cannot keep pace with the demands of the growing market for these products. A sustainable non-animal source of EPA and DHA is needed. Metabolic engineering of the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica resulted in a strain that produced EPA at 15% of dry cell weight. The engineered yeast lipid comprises EPA at 56.6% and saturated fatty acids at less than 5% by weight, which are the highest and the lowest percentages, respectively, among known EPA sources. Inactivation of the peroxisome biogenesis gene PEX10 was crucial in obtaining high EPA yields and may increase the yields of other commercially desirable lipid-related products. This technology platform enables the production of lipids with tailored fatty acid compositions and provides a sustainable source of EPA.