Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2020; 25(6): 962-973  
Recent Advances in Synthetic Biology for the Engineering of Lactic Acid Bacteria
Jaewoo Son and Ki Jun Jeong
Jaewoo Son, Ki Jun Jeong
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, BK21 Plus program, KAIST, Daejeon 34141, Korea
Ki Jun Jeong*
Institute for The BioCentury, KAIST, Daejeon 34141, Korea
Tel: +82-42-350-3934; Fax: +82-42-350-3910
Received: February 2, 2020; Revised: February 29, 2020; Accepted: March 3, 2020; Published online: December 31, 2020.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have a long historical record of usage in many types of food-related bioprocesses, and as LAB have been found to have intrinsic beneficial effects on human health, interest in using LAB as a medical treatment has increased. Moreover, recent advances in synthetic biology have enabled the engineering of so-called “smart” bacteria with the native characteristics of LAB. With various synthetic parts for gene expression, genome editing, and genetic circuits, gene expression can be precisely regulated in LAB. Moreover, LAB have been successfully developed as potential hosts for therapeutics to detect and control specific diseases or to deliver drug molecules. In this review, we outline the recent development of synthetic parts and approaches for the engineering of LAB. We also discuss the potential application of synthetic biology for the utilization of LAB as living therapeutics.
Keywords: lactic acid bacteria, synthetic biology, synthetic parts, genome editing, living therapeutics

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