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Pathway Engineering

In general, pathway engineering involves the manipulation of genetic and regulatory processes to produce metabolites of interest. These processes are chemical networks that use a series of biochemical reactions and enzymes that allow cells to convert raw materials into molecules necessary for the cell’s survival. In industry, pathway engineering is used to optimize metabolic processes to increase yields or produce exogenous metabolites by using different microorganisms, such as Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Streptomyces species. Since a cell requires certain metabolic pathways for survival, increases in yields must be balanced against survival requirements.

For application, the goal of pathway engineering is to balance cofactors and currency metabolites, improve yields, and direct product synthesis in the most effective way. Therefore, commonly used strategies for pathway engineering are (i) overexpressing the gene encoding the rate-limiting enzyme of the biosynthetic pathway, (ii) blocking the competing metabolic pathways, and (iii) heterologous gene expression. To accomplish this, the metabolic pathway of the microorganism host needs to be analyzed, and the constraints and their effects on the production of desired compounds should be determined.

Our pathway engineering service includes various aspects in the field, from analyzing a metabolic pathway in selected microorganisms, determining the optimal genetic manipulations, to the final screening and experimental measurements.

We offer a wide range of services that can be customized according to customers’ specific needs:


  1. Pandey, R.P., Parajuli, P., Koffas, M.A.G., Sohng, J.K. (2016) Microbial production of natural and non-natural flavonoids: Pathway engineering, directed evolution and systems/synthetic biology. Biotechnology Advances. 34: 634-662.
  2. Ng, C.Y., Khodayari, A., Chowdhury, A., Maranas, C.D. (2015) Advances in de novo strain design using integrated systems and synthetic biology tools. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology. 28: 105-114.

Pictorial overview of computational and experimental techniques for strain development and pathway engineering Figure 1. Pictorial overview of computational and experimental techniques for strain development and pathway engineering
(Current Opinion in Chemical Biology 2015)

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