Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology

, Volume 46, Issue 11, pp 1611–1620 | Cite as

Efficient production of levan using a recombinant yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae hypersecreting a bacterial levansucrase

  • Hyunjun Ko
  • Jung-Hoon Bae
  • Bong Hyun Sung
  • Mi-Jin Kim
  • Chul-Ho Kim
  • Baek-Rock Oh
  • Jung-Hoon SohnEmail author
Genetics and Molecular Biology of Industrial Organisms - Original Paper


Levan is a fructose polymer with diverse applications in the food and medical industries. In this study, levansucrase from Rahnella aquatilis (RaLsrA) was hyper-secreted using a Saccharomyces cerevisiae protein secretion system. An optimal secretion signal, a translation fusion partner (TFP) containing an N-terminal 98 amino acid domain from a mitochondrial inner membrane protein, UTH1, was employed to secrete approximately 50 U/mL of bioactive RaLsrA into culture media with 63% secretion efficiency by fed-batch fermentation. Although the purified RaLsrA was useful for enzymatic conversion of high-molecular-weight levan of approximately 3.75 × 106 Da, recombinant yeast secreting RaLsrA could produce levan more efficiently by microbial fermentation. In a 50-L scale fermenter, 76-g/L levan was directly converted from 191-g/L sucrose by recombinant yeast cells, attaining an 80% conversion yield and 3.17-g/L/h productivity. Thus, we developed a cost-effective and industrially applicable production system for food-grade levan.


Levan Saccharomyces cerevisiae Levansucrase Recombinant protein expression Direct fermentation 



This work was supported by the Advanced Biomass R&D Center, Global Frontier Program of Korea Ministry of Science and ICT (2010-0029737), the Technology development Program (S2667724) funded by the Korea Ministry of SMEs and Startups and the Research Initiative Program of KRIBB.

Supplementary material

10295_2019_2206_MOESM1_ESM.docx (49 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 49 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Synthetic Biology and Bioengineering Research CenterKorea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB)DaejeonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biosystems and Bioengineering, KRIBB School of BiotechnologyKorea University of Science and Technology (UST)DaejeonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Microbial Biotechnology Research Center, Jeonbuk Branch InstituteKorea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB)Jeongeup-siRepublic of Korea

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