Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 24, pp 10439–10456 | Cite as

Functions of aldehyde reductases from Saccharomyces cerevisiae in detoxification of aldehyde inhibitors and their biotechnological applications

  • Hanyu Wang
  • Qian Li
  • Xiaolin Kuang
  • Difan Xiao
  • Xuebing Han
  • Xiangdong Hu
  • Xi Li
  • Menggen MaEmail author


Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to high-value bioproducts by fermentative microorganisms has drawn extensive attentions worldwide. Lignocellulosic biomass cannot be efficiently utilized by microorganisms, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but has to be pretreated prior to fermentation. Aldehyde compounds, as the by-products generated in the pretreatment process of lignocellulosic biomass, are considered as the most important toxic inhibitors to S. cerevisiae cells for their growth and fermentation. Aldehyde group in the aldehyde inhibitors, including furan aldehydes, aliphatic aldehydes, and phenolic aldehydes, is identified as the toxic factor. It has been demonstrated that S. cerevisiae has the ability to in situ detoxify aldehydes to their corresponding less or non-toxic alcohols. This reductive reaction is catalyzed by the NAD(P)H-dependent aldehyde reductases. In recent years, detoxification of aldehyde inhibitors by S. cerevisiae has been extensively studied and a huge progress has been made. This mini-review summarizes the classifications and structural features of the characterized aldehyde reductases from S. cerevisiae, their catalytic abilities to exogenous and endogenous aldehydes and effects of metal ions, chemical protective additives, and salts on enzyme activities, subcellular localization of the aldehyde reductases and their possible roles in protection of the subcellular organelles, and transcriptional regulation of the aldehyde reductase genes by the key stress-response transcription factors. Cofactor preference of the aldehyde reductases and their molecular mechanisms and efficient supply pathways of cofactors, as well as biotechnological applications of the aldehyde reductases in the detoxification of aldehyde inhibitors derived from pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass, are also included or supplemented in this mini-review.


Aldehyde reductase Classification Detoxification Inhibitor Localization Saccharomyces cerevisiae Transcriptional regulation 



The authors thank Prof. Dr. Alexander Steinbüchel, the Editor-in-Chief of Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, for his kind invitation to write this mini-review.

Funding information

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31570086) and the Talent Introduction Fund of Sichuan Agricultural University (No. 01426100).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanyu Wang
    • 1
  • Qian Li
    • 1
  • Xiaolin Kuang
    • 1
  • Difan Xiao
    • 1
  • Xuebing Han
    • 1
  • Xiangdong Hu
    • 1
  • Xi Li
    • 2
  • Menggen Ma
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Natural Resources and Geographic Information Technology, College of ResourcesSichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Landscape ArchitectureSichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Applied Microbiology, College of ResourcesSichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China

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