Overproduction of a desired metabolite is often achieved via manipulation of the pathway directly leading to the product or through engineering of distant nodes within the metabolic network. Empirical examples illustrating the combined effect of these local and global strategies have been so far limited in eukaryotic systems. In this study, we compared the effects of overexpressing a key gene in de novo vanillin biosynthesis (coding for O-methyltransferase, hsOMT) in two yeast strains, with and without model-guided global network modifications. Overexpression of hsOMT resulted in increased vanillin production only in the strain with model-guided modifications, exemplifying advantage of using a global strategy prior to local pathway manipulation. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2013; 110: 656–659. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.