Metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for increased bioconversion of lignocellulose to ethanol.
ABSTRACT: The absence of pentose-utilizing enzymes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an obstacle for efficiently converting lignocellulosic materials to ethanol. In the present study, the genes coding xylose reductase (XYL1) and xylitol dehydrogenase (XYL2) from Pichia stipitis were successfully engineered into S. cerevisae. As compared to the control transformant, engineering of XYL1 and XYL2 into yeasts significantly increased the microbial biomass (8.1 vs. 3.4 g/L), xylose consumption rate (0.15 vs. 0.02 g/h) and ethanol yield (6.8 vs. 3.5 g/L) after 72 h fermentation using a xylose-based medium. Interestingly, engineering of XYL1 and XYL2 into yeasts also elevated the ethanol yield from sugarcane bagasse hydrolysate (SUBH). This study not only provides an effective approach to increase the xylose utilization by yeasts, but the results also suggest that production of ethanol by this recombinant yeasts using unconventional nutrient sources, such as components in SUBH deserves further attention in the future.
Project description:We used an inverse metabolic engineering approach to identify gene targets for improved xylose assimilation in recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Specifically, we created a genomic fragment library from Pichia stipitis and introduced it into recombinant S. cerevisiae expressing XYL1 and XYL2. Through serial subculturing enrichment of the transformant library, 16 transformants were identified and confirmed to have a higher growth rate on xylose. Sequencing of the 16 plasmids isolated from these transformants revealed that the majority of the inserts (10 of 16) contained the XYL3 gene, thus confirming the previous finding that XYL3 is the consensus target for increasing xylose assimilation. Following a sequential search for gene targets, we repeated the complementation enrichment process in a XYL1 XYL2 XYL3 background and identified 15 fast-growing transformants, all of which harbored the same plasmid. This plasmid contained an open reading frame (ORF) designated PsTAL1 based on a high level of homology with S. cerevisiae TAL1. To further investigate whether the newly identified PsTAL1 ORF is responsible for the enhanced-growth phenotype, we constructed an expression cassette containing the PsTAL1 ORF under the control of a constitutive promoter and transformed it into an S. cerevisiae recombinant expressing XYL1, XYL2, and XYL3. The resulting recombinant strain exhibited a 100% increase in the growth rate and a 70% increase in ethanol production (0.033 versus 0.019 g ethanol/g cells . h) on xylose compared to the parental strain. Interestingly, overexpression of PsTAL1 did not cause growth inhibition when cells were grown on glucose, unlike overexpression of the ScTAL1 gene. These results suggest that PsTAL1 is a better gene target for engineering of the pentose phosphate pathway in recombinant S. cerevisiae.
Project description:The ascomycetes Candida albicans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Scheffersomyces stipitis metabolize the pentose sugar xylose very differently. S. cerevisiae fails to grow on xylose, while C. albicans can grow, and S. stipitis can both grow and ferment xylose to ethanol. However, all three species contain highly similar genes that encode potential xylose reductases and xylitol dehydrogenases required to convert xylose to xylulose, and xylulose supports the growth of all three fungi. We have created C. albicans strains deleted for the xylose reductase gene GRE3, the xylitol dehydrogenase gene XYL2, as well as the gre3 xyl2 double mutant. As expected, all the mutant strains cannot grow on xylose, while the single gre3 mutant can grow on xylitol. The gre3 and xyl2 mutants are efficiently complemented by the XYL1 and XYL2 from S. stipitis. Intriguingly, the S. cerevisiae GRE3 gene can complement the Cagre3 mutant, while the ScSOR1 gene can complement the Caxyl2 mutant, showing that S. cerevisiae contains the enzymatic capacity for converting xylose to xylulose. In addition, the gre3 xyl2 double mutant of C. albicans is effectively rescued by the xylose isomerase (XI) gene of either Piromyces or Orpinomyces, suggesting that the XI provides an alternative to the missing oxido-reductase functions in the mutant required for the xylose-xylulose conversion. Overall this work suggests that C. albicans strains engineered to lack essential steps for xylose metabolism can provide a platform for the analysis of xylose metabolism enzymes from a variety of species, and confirms that S. cerevisiae has the genetic potential to convert xylose to xylulose, although non-engineered strains cannot proliferate on xylose as the sole carbon source.
Project description:The production of ethanol and other fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic materials is dependent of efficient xylose conversion. Xylose fermentation capacity in yeasts is usually linked to xylose reductase (XR) accepting NADH as cofactor. The XR from Scheffersomyces stipitis, which is able to use NADH as cofactor but still prefers NADPH, has been used to generate recombinant xylose-fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Novel xylose-fermenting yeasts species, as those from the Spathaspora clade, have been described and are potential sources of novel genes to improve xylose fermentation in S. cerevisiae.Xylose fermentation by six strains from different Spathaspora species isolated in Brazil, plus the Sp. passalidarum type strain (CBS 10155(T)), was characterized under two oxygen-limited conditions. The best xylose-fermenting strains belong to the Sp. passalidarum species, and their highest ethanol titers, yields, and productivities were correlated to higher XR activity with NADH than with NADPH. Among the different Spathaspora species, Sp. passalidarum appears to be the sole harboring two XYL1 genes: XYL1.1, similar to the XYL1 found in other Spathaspora and yeast species and XYL1.2, with relatively higher expression level. XYL1.1p and XYL1.2p from Sp. passalidarum were expressed in S. cerevisiae TMB 3044 and XYL1.1p was confirmed to be strictly NADPH-dependent, while XYL1.2p to use both NADPH and NADH, with higher activity with the later. Recombinant S. cerevisiae strains expressing XYL1.1p did not show anaerobic growth in xylose medium. Under anaerobic xylose fermentation, S. cerevisiae TMB 3504, which expresses XYL1.2p from Sp. passalidarum, revealed significant higher ethanol yield and productivity than S. cerevisiae TMB 3422, which harbors XYL1p N272D from Sc. stipitis in the same isogenic background (0.40 vs 0.34 g gCDW (-1) and 0.33 vs 0.18 g gCDW (-1) h(-1), respectively).This work explored a new clade of xylose-fermenting yeasts (Spathaspora species) towards the engineering of S. cerevisiae for improved xylose fermentation. The new S. cerevisiae TMB 3504 displays higher XR activity with NADH than with NADPH, with consequent improved ethanol yield and productivity and low xylitol production. This meaningful advance in anaerobic xylose fermentation by recombinant S. cerevisiae (using the XR/XDH pathway) paves the way for the development of novel industrial pentose-fermenting strains.
Project description:Two novel endophytic yeast strains, WP1 and PTD3, isolated from within the stems of poplar (Populus) trees, were genetically characterized with respect to their xylose metabolism genes. These two strains, belonging to the species Rhodotorula graminis and R. mucilaginosa, respectively, utilize both hexose and pentose sugars, including the common plant pentose sugar, D-xylose. The xylose reductase (XYL1) and xylitol dehydrogenase (XYL2) genes were cloned and characterized. The derived amino acid sequences of xylose reductase (XR) and xylose dehydrogenase (XDH) were 32%?41% homologous to those of Pichia stipitis and Candida. spp., two species known to utilize xylose. The derived XR and XDH sequences of WP1 and PTD3 had higher homology (73% and 69% identity) with each other. WP1 and PTD3 were grown in single sugar and mixed sugar media to analyze the XYL1 and XYL2 gene regulation mechanisms. Our results revealed that for both strains, the gene expression is induced by D-xylose, and that in PTD3 the expression was not repressed by glucose in the presence of xylose.
Project description:Fermentation of the pentose sugar xylose to ethanol in lignocellulosic biomass would make bioethanol production economically more competitive. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an efficient ethanol producer, can utilize xylose only when expressing the heterologous genes XYL1 (xylose reductase) and XYL2 (xylitol dehydrogenase). Xylose reductase and xylitol dehydrogenase convert xylose to its isomer xylulose. The gene XKS1 encodes the xylulose-phosphorylating enzyme xylulokinase. In this study, we determined the effect of XKS1 overexpression on two different S. cerevisiae host strains, H158 and CEN.PK, also expressing XYL1 and XYL2. H158 has been previously used as a host strain for the construction of recombinant xylose-utilizing S. cerevisiae strains. CEN.PK is a new strain specifically developed to serve as a host strain for the development of metabolic engineering strategies. Fermentation was carried out in defined and complex media containing a hexose and pentose sugar mixture or a birch wood lignocellulosic hydrolysate. XKS1 overexpression increased the ethanol yield by a factor of 2 and reduced the xylitol yield by 70 to 100% and the final acetate concentrations by 50 to 100%. However, XKS1 overexpression reduced the total xylose consumption by half for CEN.PK and to as little as one-fifth for H158. Yeast extract and peptone partly restored sugar consumption in hydrolysate medium. CEN.PK consumed more xylose but produced more xylitol than H158 and thus gave lower ethanol yields on consumed xylose. The results demonstrate that strain background and modulation of XKS1 expression are important for generating an efficient xylose-fermenting recombinant strain of S. cerevisiae.
Project description:The ascomycetes Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida albicans and Scheffersomyces stipitis metabolize the pentose sugar xylose very differently. S. cerevisiae fails to grow on xylose, while C. albicans can grow, and S. stipitis can both grow and ferment xylose to ethanol. However, all three species contain highly similar genes that encode xylose reductase and xylitol dehydrogenase required to convert xylose to xylulose, on which all three fungi grow. We have created C. albicans strains deleted for either or both the xylose reductase gene GRE3, and the xylitol dehydrogenase gene XYL2. As expected, all the mutant strains cannot grow on xylose, while the gre3 mutant can grow on xylitol. The gre3 and xyl2 mutants are complemented efficiently by the XYL1 and XYL2 from S. stipitis respectively. Intriguingly, the S. cerevisiae GRE3 and SOR1 genes can complement the gre3 and xyl2 mutants respectively, showing that S. cerevisiae contains the enzymatic capacity for converting xylose to xylulose. In addition, the gre3 xyl2 double mutant is effectively rescued by the xylose isomerase (XI) gene of either Piromyces or Orpinomyces, suggesting that the XI provides an alternative to the missing oxido-reductase functions in the mutant required for the xylose-xylulose conversion. Overall this work establishes that C. albicans strains engineered to lack essential steps for xylose metabolism provide a platform for the analysis of xylose metabolism enzymes from a variety of species, and confirms that S. cerevisiae has the genetic potential to convert xylose to xylulose, although non-engineered strains cannot proliferate on xylose as the sole carbon source. Transcription profile of cells in xylose compared to glucose. Two sets: Candida albicans, 1 condition ; Saccharomyces cerevisiae 2 conditions / in xylose (SX) or no sugar (S) (replicates with dye-swap)
Project description:Production of ethanol and xylitol from lignocellulosic hydrolysates is an alternative to the traditional production of ethanol in utilizing biomass. However, the conversion efficiency of xylose to xylitol is restricted by glucose repression, causing a low xylitol titer. To this end, we cloned genes CDT-1 (encoding a cellodextrin transporter) and gh1-1 (encoding an intracellular ?-glucosidase) from Neurospora crassa and XYL1 (encoding a xylose reductase that converts xylose into xylitol) from Scheffersomyces stipitis into Saccharomyces cerevisiae, enabling simultaneous production of ethanol and xylitol from a mixture of cellobiose and xylose (main components of lignocellulosic hydrolysates). We further optimized the expression levels of CDT-1 and XYL1 by manipulating their promoters and copy-numbers, and constructed an engineered S. cerevisiae strain (carrying one copy of PGK1p-CDT1 and two copies of TDH3p-XYL1), which showed an 85.7% increase in xylitol production from the mixture of cellobiose and xylose than that from the mixture of glucose and xylose. Thus, we achieved a balanced co-fermentation of cellobiose (0.165 g/L/h) and xylose (0.162 g/L/h) at similar rates to co-produce ethanol (0.36 g/g) and xylitol (1.00 g/g).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Efficient xylose fermentation still demands knowledge regarding xylose catabolism. In this study, metabolic flux analysis (MFA) and metabolomics were used to improve our understanding of xylose metabolism. Thus, a stoichiometric model was constructed to simulate the intracellular carbon flux and used to validate the metabolome data collected within xylose catabolic pathways of non-Saccharomyces xylose utilizing yeasts. RESULTS:A metabolic flux model was constructed using xylose fermentation data from yeasts Scheffersomyces stipitis, Spathaspora arborariae, and Spathaspora passalidarum. In total, 39 intracellular metabolic reactions rates were utilized validating the measurements of 11 intracellular metabolites, acquired by mass spectrometry. Among them, 80% of total metabolites were confirmed with a correlation above 90% when compared to the stoichiometric model. Among the intracellular metabolites, fructose-6-phosphate, glucose-6-phosphate, ribulose-5-phosphate, and malate are validated in the three studied yeasts. However, the metabolites phosphoenolpyruvate and pyruvate could not be confirmed in any yeast. Finally, the three yeasts had the metabolic fluxes from xylose to ethanol compared. Xylose catabolism occurs at twice-higher flux rates in S. stipitis than S. passalidarum and S. arborariae. Besides, S. passalidarum present 1.5 times high flux rate in the xylose reductase reaction NADH-dependent than other two yeasts. CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrated a novel strategy for metabolome data validation and brought insights about naturally xylose-fermenting yeasts. S. stipitis and S. passalidarum showed respectively three and twice higher flux rates of XR with NADH cofactor, reducing the xylitol production when compared to S. arborariae. Besides then, the higher flux rates directed to pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and glycolysis pathways resulted in better ethanol production in S. stipitis and S. passalidarum when compared to S. arborariae.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Pichia stipitis and Pichia pastoris have long been investigated due to their native abilities to metabolize every sugar from lignocellulose and to modulate methanol consumption, respectively. The latter has been driving the production of several recombinant proteins. As a result, significant advances in their biochemical knowledge, as well as in genetic engineering and fermentation methods have been generated. The release of their genome sequences has allowed systems level research. RESULTS: In this work, genome-scale metabolic models (GEMs) of P. stipitis (iSS884) and P. pastoris (iLC915) were reconstructed. iSS884 includes 1332 reactions, 922 metabolites, and 4 compartments. iLC915 contains 1423 reactions, 899 metabolites, and 7 compartments. Compared with the previous GEMs of P. pastoris, PpaMBEL1254 and iPP668, iLC915 contains more genes and metabolic functions, as well as improved predictive capabilities. Simulations of physiological responses for the growth of both yeasts on selected carbon sources using iSS884 and iLC915 closely reproduced the experimental data. Additionally, the iSS884 model was used to predict ethanol production from xylose at different oxygen uptake rates. Simulations with iLC915 closely reproduced the effect of oxygen uptake rate on physiological states of P. pastoris expressing a recombinant protein. The potential of P. stipitis for the conversion of xylose and glucose into ethanol using reactors in series, and of P. pastoris to produce recombinant proteins using mixtures of methanol and glycerol or sorbitol are also discussed. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion the first GEM of P. stipitis (iSS884) was reconstructed and validated. The expanded version of the P. pastoris GEM, iLC915, is more complete and has improved capabilities over the existing models. Both GEMs are useful frameworks to explore the versatility of these yeasts and to capitalize on their biotechnological potentials.
Project description:Economic bioconversion of plant cell wall hydrolysates into fuels and chemicals has been hampered mainly due to the inability of microorganisms to efficiently co-ferment pentose and hexose sugars, especially glucose and xylose, which are the most abundant sugars in cellulosic hydrolysates. Saccharomyces cerevisiae cannot metabolize xylose due to a lack of xylose-metabolizing enzymes. We developed a rapid and efficient xylose-fermenting S. cerevisiae through rational and inverse metabolic engineering strategies, comprising the optimization of a heterologous xylose-assimilating pathway and evolutionary engineering. Strong and balanced expression levels of the XYL1, XYL2, and XYL3 genes constituting the xylose-assimilating pathway increased ethanol yields and the xylose consumption rates from a mixture of glucose and xylose with little xylitol accumulation. The engineered strain, however, still exhibited a long lag time when metabolizing xylose above 10 g/l as a sole carbon source, defined here as xylose toxicity. Through serial-subcultures on xylose, we isolated evolved strains which exhibited a shorter lag time and improved xylose-fermenting capabilities than the parental strain. Genome sequencing of the evolved strains revealed that mutations in PHO13 causing loss of the Pho13p function are associated with the improved phenotypes of the evolved strains. Crude extracts of a PHO13-overexpressing strain showed a higher phosphatase activity on xylulose-5-phosphate (X-5-P), suggesting that the dephosphorylation of X-5-P by Pho13p might generate a futile cycle with xylulokinase overexpression. While xylose consumption rates by the evolved strains improved substantially as compared to the parental strain, xylose metabolism was interrupted by accumulated acetate. Deletion of ALD6 coding for acetaldehyde dehydrogenase not only prevented acetate accumulation, but also enabled complete and efficient fermentation of xylose as well as a mixture of glucose and xylose by the evolved strain. These findings provide direct guidance for developing industrial strains to produce cellulosic fuels and chemicals.