Microbial fatty acid transport proteins and their biotechnological
AbstractFatty acid metabolism has been widely studied in various organisms.
However, fatty acid transport has received less attention even though it
plays vital roles for the cells, such as export of toxic free fatty
acids or uptake of exogenous fatty acids. Hence, there are important
knowledge gaps in how fatty acids cross biological membranes and many
mechanisms and proteins involved in these processes still need to be
determined. The lack of information is more predominant in
microorganisms, even though the identification of fatty acids
transporters in these cells could lead to new drug targets or
improvements in microbial cell factories. This review provides a
thorough analysis of the current information on fatty acid transporters
in microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts and microalgae species.
Most information available relates to the model organisms Escherichia
coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but transport systems of other
species are also discussed. Intracellular trafficking of fatty acids and
their transport through organelle membranes in eukaryotic organisms is
described as well. Finally, applied studies and engineering efforts
using fatty acids transporters are presented to show the applied
potential of these transporters and to stress the need for further
identification of new transporters and their engineering.