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- Co-utilization of L-arabinose and D-xylose by laboratory and industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains (2006)
- Background Fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive alternative for the production of bioethanol. Traditionally, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is used in industrial ethanol fermentations. However, S. cerevisiae is naturally not able to ferment the pentose sugars D-xylose and L-arabinose, which are present in high amounts in lignocellulosic raw materials. Results We describe the engineering of laboratory and industrial S. cerevisiae strains to co-ferment the pentose sugars D-xylose and L-arabinose. Introduction of a fungal xylose and a bacterial arabinose pathway resulted in strains able to grow on both pentose sugars. Introduction of a xylose pathway into an arabinose-fermenting laboratory strain resulted in nearly complete conversion of arabinose into arabitol due to the L-arabinose reductase activity of the xylose reductase. The industrial strain displayed lower arabitol yield and increased ethanol yield from xylose and arabinose. Conclusion Our work demonstrates simultaneous co-utilization of xylose and arabinose in recombinant strains of S. cerevisiae. In addition, the co-utilization of arabinose together with xylose significantly reduced formation of the by-product xylitol, which contributed to improved ethanol production.
- Competition between pentoses and glucose during uptake and catabolism in recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae (2012)
- Background: In mixed sugar fermentations with recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains able to ferment D-xylose and L-arabinose the pentose sugars are normally only utilized after depletion of D-glucose. This has been attributed to competitive inhibition of pentose uptake by D-glucose as pentose sugars are taken up into yeast cells by individual members of the yeast hexose transporter family. We wanted to investigate whether D-glucose inhibits pentose utilization only by blocking its uptake or also by interfering with its further metabolism. Results: To distinguish between inhibitory effects of D-glucose on pentose uptake and pentose catabolism, maltose was used as an alternative carbon source in maltose-pentose co-consumption experiments. Maltose is taken up by a specific maltose transport system and hydrolyzed only intracellularly into two D-glucose molecules. Pentose consumption decreased by about 20 - 30% during the simultaneous utilization of maltose indicating that hexose catabolism can impede pentose utilization. To test whether intracellular D-glucose might impair pentose utilization, hexo-/glucokinase deletion mutants were constructed. Those mutants are known to accumulate intracellular D-glucose when incubated with maltose. However, pentose utilization was not effected in the presence of maltose. Addition of increasing concentrations of D-glucose to the hexo-/glucokinase mutants finally completely blocked D-xylose as well as L-arabinose consumption, indicating a pronounced inhibitory effect of D-glucose on pentose uptake. Nevertheless, constitutive overexpression of pentose-transporting hexose transporters like Hxt7 and Gal2 could improve pentose consumption in the presence of D-glucose. Conclusion: Our results confirm that D-glucose impairs the simultaneous utilization of pentoses mainly due to inhibition of pentose uptake. Whereas intracellular D-glucose does not seem to have an inhibitory effect on pentose utilization, further catabolism of D-glucose can also impede pentose utilization. Nevertheless, the results suggest that co-fermentation of pentoses in the presence of D-glucose can significantly be improved by the overexpression of pentose transporters, especially if they are not inhibited by D-glucose.
- Amino Acid Transporter Genes Are Essential for FLO11-Dependent and FLO11-Independent Biofilm Formation and Invasive Growth in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (2012)
- Amino acids can induce yeast cell adhesion but how amino acids are sensed and signal the modulation of the FLO adhesion genes is not clear. We discovered that the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae CEN.PK evolved invasive growth ability under prolonged nitrogen limitation. Such invasive mutants were used to identify amino acid transporters as regulators of FLO11 and invasive growth. One invasive mutant had elevated levels of FLO11 mRNA and a Q320STOP mutation in the SFL1 gene that encodes a protein kinase A pathway regulated repressor of FLO11. Glutamine-transporter genes DIP5 and GNP1 were essential for FLO11 expression, invasive growth and biofilm formation in this mutant. Invasive growth relied on known regulators of FLO11 and the Ssy1-Ptr3-Ssy5 complex that controls DIP5 and GNP1, suggesting that Dip5 and Gnp1 operates downstream of the Ssy1-Ptr3-Ssy5 complex for regulation of FLO11 expression in a protein kinase A dependent manner. The role of Dip5 and Gnp1 appears to be conserved in the S. cerevisiae strain ∑1278b since the dip5 gnp1 ∑1278b mutant showed no invasive phenotype. Secondly, the amino acid transporter gene GAP1 was found to influence invasive growth through FLO11 as well as other FLO genes. Cells carrying a dominant loss-of-function PTR3647::CWNKNPLSSIN allele had increased transcription of the adhesion genes FLO1, 5, 9, 10, 11 and the amino acid transporter gene GAP1. Deletion of GAP1 caused loss of FLO11 expression and invasive growth. However, deletions of FLO11 and genes encoding components of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway or the protein kinase A pathway were not sufficient to abolish invasive growth, suggesting involvement of other FLO genes and alternative pathways. Increased intracellular amino acid pools in the PTR3647::CWNKNPLSSIN-containing strain opens the possibility that Gap1 regulates the FLO genes through alteration of the amino acid pool sizes.
- Cytosolic re-localization and optimization of valine synthesis and catabolism enables increased isobutanol production with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (2012)
- Background: The branched chain alcohol isobutanol exhibits superior physicochemical properties as an alternative biofuel. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae naturally produces low amounts of isobutanol as a by-product during fermentations, resulting from the catabolism of valine. As S. cerevisiae is widely used in industrial applications and can easily be modified by genetic engineering, this microorganism is a promising host for the fermentative production of higher amounts of isobutanol. Results: Isobutanol production could be improved by re-locating the valine biosynthesis enzymes Ilv2, Ilv5 and Ilv3 from the mitochondrial matrix into the cytosol. To prevent the import of the three enzymes into yeast mitochondria, N-terminally shortened Ilv2, Ilv5 and Ilv3 versions were constructed lacking their mitochondrial targeting sequences. SDS-PAGE and immunofluorescence analyses confirmed expression and re-localization of the truncated enzymes. Growth tests or enzyme assays confirmed enzymatic activities. Isobutanol production was only increased in the absence of valine and the simultaneous blockage of the mitochondrial valine synthesis pathway. Isobutanol production could be even more enhanced after adapting the codon usage of the truncated valine biosynthesis genes to the codon usage of highly expressed glycolytic genes. Finally, a suitable ketoisovalerate decarboxylase, Aro10, and alcohol dehydrogenase, Adh2, were selected and overexpressed. The highest isobutanol titer was 0.63 g/L at a yield of nearly 15 mg per g glucose. Conclusion: A cytosolic isobutanol production pathway was successfully established in yeast by re-localization and optimization of mitochondrial valine synthesis enzymes together with overexpression of Aro10 decarboxylase and Adh2 alcohol dehydrogenase. Driving forces were generated by blocking competition with the mitochondrial valine pathway and by omitting valine from the fermentation medium. Additional deletion of pyruvate decarboxylase genes and engineering of co-factor imbalances should lead to even higher isobutanol production.
- Development of a D-xylose fermenting and inhibitor tolerant industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain with high performance in lignocellulose hydrolysates using metabolic and evolutionary engineering (2013)
- Background: The production of bioethanol from lignocellulose hydrolysates requires a robust, D-xylose-fermenting and inhibitor-tolerant microorganism as catalyst. The purpose of the present work was to develop such a strain from a prime industrial yeast strain, Ethanol Red, used for bioethanol production. Results: An expression cassette containing 13 genes including Clostridium phytofermentans XylA, encoding D-xylose isomerase (XI), and enzymes of the pentose phosphate pathway was inserted in two copies in the genome of Ethanol Red. Subsequent EMS mutagenesis, genome shuffling and selection in D-xylose-enriched lignocellulose hydrolysate, followed by multiple rounds of evolutionary engineering in complex medium with D-xylose, gradually established efficient D-xylose fermentation. The best-performing strain, GS1.11-26, showed a maximum specific D-xylose consumption rate of 1.1 g/g DW/h in synthetic medium, with complete attenuation of 35 g/L D-xylose in about 17 h. In separate hydrolysis and fermentation of lignocellulose hydrolysates of Arundo donax (giant reed), spruce and a wheat straw/hay mixture, the maximum specific D-xylose consumption rate was 0.36, 0.23 and 1.1 g/g DW inoculum/h, and the final ethanol titer was 4.2, 3.9 and 5.8% (v/v), respectively. In simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of Arundo hydrolysate, GS1.11-26 produced 32% more ethanol than the parent strain Ethanol Red, due to efficient D-xylose utilization. The high D-xylose fermentation capacity was stable after extended growth in glucose. Cell extracts of strain GS1.11-26 displayed 17-fold higher XI activity compared to the parent strain, but overexpression of XI alone was not enough to establish D-xylose fermentation. The high D-xylose consumption rate was due to synergistic interaction between the high XI activity and one or more mutations in the genome. The GS1.11-26 had a partial respiratory defect causing a reduced aerobic growth rate. Conclusions: An industrial yeast strain for bioethanol production with lignocellulose hydrolysates has been developed in the genetic background of a strain widely used for commercial bioethanol production. The strain uses glucose and D-xylose with high consumption rates and partial cofermentation in various lignocellulose hydrolysates with very high ethanol yield. The GS1.11-26 strain shows highly promising potential for further development of an all-round robust yeast strain for efficient fermentation of various lignocellulose hydrolysates.
- Novel strategies to improve co-fermentation of pentoses with D-glucose by recombinant yeast strains in lignocellulosic hydrolysates (2012)
- Economically feasible production of second-generation biofuels requires efficient co-fermentation of pentose and hexose sugars in lignocellulosic hydrolysates under very harsh conditions. Baker’s yeast is an excellent, traditionally used ethanol producer but is naturally not able to utilize pentoses. This is due to the lack of pentose-specific transporter proteins and enzymatic reactions. Thus, natural yeast strains must be modified by genetic engineering. Although the construction of various recombinant yeast strains able to ferment pentose sugars has been described during the last two decades, their rates of pentose utilization is still significantly lower than D-glucose fermentation. Moreover, pentoses are only fermented after D-glucose is exhausted, resulting in an uneconomical increase in the fermentation time. In this addendum, we discuss novel approaches to improve utilization of pentoses by development of specific transporters and substrate channeling in enzyme cascades. Addendum to: T Subtil, E Boles. Competition between pentoses and glucose during uptake and catabolism in recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biotechnol Biofuels 2012; 5: 14 PMID: 22424089 DOI: 10.1186/1754-6834-5-14
- Improving L-arabinose utilization of pentose fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells by heterologous expression of L-arabinose transporting sugar transporters (2011)
- Background: Hydrolysates of plant biomass used for the production of lignocellulosic biofuels typically contain sugar mixtures consisting mainly of D-glucose and D-xylose, and minor amounts of L-arabinose. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the preferred microorganism for the fermentative production of ethanol but is not able to ferment pentose sugars. Although D-xylose and L-arabinose fermenting S. cerevisiae strains have been constructed recently, pentose uptake is still a limiting step in mixed sugar fermentations. Results: Here we described the cloning and characterization of two sugar transporters, AraT from the yeast Scheffersomyces stipitis and Stp2 from the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which mediate the uptake of L-arabinose but not of D-glucose into S. cerevisiae cells. A yeast strain lacking all of its endogenous hexose transporter genes and expressing a bacterial L-arabinose utilization pathway could no longer take up and grow with L-arabinose as the only carbon source. Expression of the heterologous transporters supported uptake and utilization of L-arabinose especially at low L-arabinose concentrations but did not, or only very weakly, support D-glucose uptake and utilization. In contrast, the S. cerevisiae D-galactose transporter, Gal2, mediated uptake of both L-arabinose and D-glucose, especially at high concentrations. Conclusions: Using a newly developed screening system we have identified two heterologous sugar transporters from a yeast and a plant which can support uptake and utilization of L-arabinose in L-arabinose fermenting S. cerevisiae cells, especially at low L-arabinose concentrations.