Modulating aroma compounds during wine fermentation by manipulating carnitine acetyltransferases in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Antonio G. Cordente, Jan H. Swiegers*, Fausto G. Hegardt, Isak S. Pretorius

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is central in the production of aroma compounds during fermentation. Some of the most important yeast-derived aroma compounds produced are esters. The esters ethyl acetate and isoamyl acetate are formed from alcohols and acetyl-CoA in a reaction catalysed by alcohol acetyltransferases. The pool of acetyl-CoA available in yeast cells could play a key role in the development of ester aromas. Carnitine acetyltransferases catalyse the reversible reaction between carnitine and acetyl-CoA to form acetylcarnitine and free CoA. This reaction is important in transferring activated acetyl groups to the mitochondria and in regulating the acetyl-CoA/CoA pools within the cell. We investigated the effect of overexpressing CAT2, which encodes the major mitochondrial and peroxisomal carnitine acetyltransferase, on the formation of esters and other flavour compounds during fermentation. We also overexpressed a modified CAT2 that results in a protein that localizes to the cytosol. In general, the overexpression of both forms of CAT2 resulted in a reduction in ester concentrations, especially in ethyl acetate and isoamyl acetate. We hypothesize that overproduction of Cat2p favours the formation of acetylcarnitine and CoA and therefore limits the precursor for ester production. Carnitine acetyltransferase expression could potentially to be used successfully in order to modulate wine flavour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume267
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

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