The koji mold Aspergillus oryzae has been used in traditional Japanese food and beverage fermentation for over a thousand years. Amylolytic enzymes are important in sake fermentation, wherein production is induced by starch or malto-oligosaccharides. This inducible production requires at least two transcription activators, AmyR and MalR. Among amylolytic enzymes, glucoamylase GlaB is produced exclusively in solid-state culture and plays a critical role in sake fermentation owing to its contribution to glucose generation from starch. A recent study demonstrated that glaB gene expression is regulated by a novel transcription factor, FlbC, in addition to AmyR in solid-state culture. Amylolytic enzyme production is generally repressed by glucose due to carbon catabolite repression (CCR), which is mediated by the transcription factor CreA. Modifying CCR machinery, including CreA, can improve amylolytic enzyme production. This review focuses on the role of transcription factors in regulating A. oryzae amylolytic gene expression.
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