An engineered cryptic Hxt11 sugar transporter facilitates glucose-xylose co-consumption in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is unable to ferment pentose sugars like d-xylose. Through the introduction of the respective metabolic pathway, S. cerevisiae is able to ferment xylose but first utilizes d-glucose before the d-xylose can be transported and metabolized. Low affinity d-xylose uptake occurs through the endogenous hexose (Hxt) transporters. For a more robust sugar fermentation, co-consumption of d-glucose and d-xylose is desired as d-xylose fermentation is in particular prone to inhibition by compounds present in pretreated lignocellulosic feedstocks. RESULTS:Evolutionary engineering of a d-xylose-fermenting S. cerevisiae strain lacking the major transporter HXT1-7 and GAL2 genes yielded a derivative that shows improved growth on xylose because of the expression of a normally cryptic HXT11 gene. Hxt11 also supported improved growth on d-xylose by the wild-type strain. Further selection for glucose-insensitive growth on d-xylose employing a quadruple hexokinase deletion yielded mutations at N366 of Hxt11 that reversed the transporter specificity for d-glucose into d-xylose while maintaining high d-xylose transport rates. The Hxt11 mutant enabled the efficient co-fermentation of xylose and glucose at industrially relevant sugar concentrations when expressed in a strain lacking the HXT1-7 and GAL2 genes. CONCLUSIONS:Hxt11 is a cryptic sugar transporter of S. cerevisiae that previously has not been associated with effective d-xylose transport. Mutagenesis of Hxt11 yielded transporters that show a better affinity for d-xylose as compared to d-glucose while maintaining high transport rates. d-glucose and d-xylose co-consumption is due to a redistribution of the sugar transport flux while maintaining the total sugar conversion rate into ethanol. This method provides a single transporter solution for effective fermentation on lignocellulosic feedstocks.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Xylose transport is one of the bottlenecks in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol. Xylose consumption by the wild-type strains of xylose-utilizing yeasts occurs once glucose is depleted resulting in a long fermentation process and overall slow and incomplete conversion of sugars liberated from lignocellulosic hydrolysates. Therefore, the engineering of endogenous transporters for the facilitation of glucose-xylose co-consumption is an important prerequisite for efficient ethanol production from lignocellulosic hydrolysates.<h4>Results</h4>In this study, several engineering approaches formerly used for the low-affinity glucose transporters in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, were successfully applied for earlier identified transporter Hxt1 in Ogataea polymorpha to improve xylose consumption (engineering involved asparagine substitution to alanine at position 358 and replacement of N-terminal lysine residues predicted to be the target of ubiquitination for arginine residues). Moreover, the modified versions of S. cerevisiae Hxt7 and Gal2 transporters also led to improved xylose fermentation when expressed in O. polymorpha.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The O. polymorpha strains with modified Hxt1 were characterized by simultaneous utilization of both glucose and xylose, in contrast to the wild-type and parental strain with elevated ethanol production from xylose. When the engineered Hxt1 transporter was introduced into constructed earlier advanced ethanol producer form xylose, the resulting strain showed further increase in ethanol accumulation during xylose fermentation. The overexpression of heterologous S. cerevisiae Gal2 had a less profound positive effects on sugars uptake rate, while overexpression of Hxt7 revealed the least impact on sugars consumption.
Project description:All known D-xylose transporters are competitively inhibited by D-glucose, which is one of the major reasons hampering simultaneous fermentation of D-glucose and D-xylose, two primary sugars present in lignocellulosic biomass. We have set up a yeast growth-based screening system for mutant D-xylose transporters that are insensitive to the presence of D-glucose. All of the identified variants had a mutation at either a conserved asparagine residue in transmembrane helix 8 or a threonine residue in transmembrane helix 5. According to a homology model of the yeast hexose transporter Gal2 deduced from the crystal structure of the D-xylose transporter XylE from Escherichia coli, both residues are found in the same region of the protein and are positioned slightly to the extracellular side of the central sugar-binding pocket. Therefore, it is likely that alterations sterically prevent D-glucose but not D-xylose from entering the pocket. In contrast, changing amino acids that are supposed to directly interact with the C6 hydroxymethyl group of D-glucose negatively affected transport of both D-glucose and D-xylose. Determination of kinetic properties of the mutant transporters revealed that Gal2-N376F had the highest affinity for D-xylose, along with a moderate transport velocity, and had completely lost the ability to transport hexoses. These transporter versions should prove valuable for glucose-xylose cofermentation in lignocellulosic hydrolysates by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other biotechnologically relevant organisms. Moreover, our data contribute to the mechanistic understanding of sugar transport because the decisive role of the conserved asparagine residue for determining sugar specificity has not been recognized before.
Project description: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.
Project description:Background:l-Arabinose occurs at economically relevant levels in lignocellulosic hydrolysates. Its low-affinity uptake via the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Gal2 galactose transporter is inhibited by d-glucose. Especially at low concentrations of l-arabinose, uptake is an important rate-controlling step in the complete conversion of these feedstocks by engineered pentose-metabolizing S. cerevisiae strains. Results:Chemostat-based transcriptome analysis yielded 16 putative sugar transporter genes in the filamentous fungus Penicillium chrysogenum whose transcript levels were at least threefold higher in l-arabinose-limited cultures than in d-glucose-limited and ethanol-limited cultures. Of five genes, that encoded putative transport proteins and showed an over 30-fold higher transcript level in l-arabinose-grown cultures compared to d-glucose-grown cultures, only one (Pc20g01790) restored growth on l-arabinose upon expression in an engineered l-arabinose-fermenting S. cerevisiae strain in which the endogenous l-arabinose transporter, GAL2, had been deleted. Sugar transport assays indicated that this fungal transporter, designated as PcAraT, is a high-affinity (Km = 0.13 mM), high-specificity l-arabinose-proton symporter that does not transport d-xylose or d-glucose. An l-arabinose-metabolizing S. cerevisiae strain in which GAL2 was replaced by PcaraT showed 450-fold lower residual substrate concentrations in l-arabinose-limited chemostat cultures than a congenic strain in which l-arabinose import depended on Gal2 (4.2 × 10-3 and 1.8 g L-1, respectively). Inhibition of l-arabinose transport by the most abundant sugars in hydrolysates, d-glucose and d-xylose was far less pronounced than observed with Gal2. Expression of PcAraT in a hexose-phosphorylation-deficient, l-arabinose-metabolizing S. cerevisiae strain enabled growth in media supplemented with both 20 g L-1 l-arabinose and 20 g L-1 d-glucose, which completely inhibited growth of a congenic strain in the same condition that depended on l-arabinose transport via Gal2. Conclusion:Its high affinity and specificity for l-arabinose, combined with limited sensitivity to inhibition by d-glucose and d-xylose, make PcAraT a valuable transporter for application in metabolic engineering strategies aimed at engineering S. cerevisiae strains for efficient conversion of lignocellulosic hydrolysates.
Project description:L-Arabinose occurs at economically relevant levels in lignocellulosic hydrolysates. Especially at low concentrations of L-arabinose, its uptake via the Gal2 galactose transporter is an important rate-controlling step in the complete conversion of these feedstocks by engineered, pentose-metabolizing Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains. Chemostat-based transcriptome analysis yielded 16 putative sugar transporter genes in the filamentous fungus Penicillium chrysogenum whose transcript levels were at least three-fold higher in L-arabinose-limited cultures than in glucose-limited and ethanol-limited cultures. Of five genes that showed an over 30-fold higher transcript level in arabinose-grown cultures, only one (Pc20g01790) restored growth on L-arabinose upon expression in an engineered L-arabinose-fermenting S. cerevisiae strain in which GAL2 had been deleted. Sugar-transport assays indicated that Pc20g01790this transporter, designated as PcAraT, encodes functions as a high-affinity (Km = 0.13 mM) L-arabinose-proton symporter that does not transport xylose or glucose. An L-arabinose-metabolizing S. cerevisiae strain co-expressing Pc20g01790PcAraT and GAL2 showed lower residual substrate concentrations in L-arabinose-limited chemostat cultures (4 mg L-1) than a congenic strain in which L-arabinose import exclusively depended on Gal2 (1.8 g L-1). Inhibition of L-arabinose transport by these sugars was less pronounced than observed with Gal2. A hexose-phosphorylation-deficient, L-arabinose-metabolizing S. cerevisiae strain expressing PcAraT Pc20g0190 grew on 20 g L-1 L-arabinose in the presence of 20 g L-1 glucose, which completely inhibited growth on L-arabinose of a congenic strain dependent on L-arabinose transport via Gal2. Its high affinity and specificity for L-L-arabinose, combined with limited sensitivity to inhibition by glucose and D-D-xylose make PcAraT/ Pc20g01790 a valuable transporter gene for application in metabolic engineering strategies aimed at engineering S. cerevisiae strains for efficient conversion of lignocellulosic hydrolysates. Overall design: The goal of this study was to explore the P. chrysogenum genome for L-arabinose transporters that can be functionally expressed in S. cerevisiae and support glucose- and D-xylose insensitive, high-affinity transport of L-arabinose. To this end, transcriptomes of L-arabinose-, ethanol- and glucose-limited chemostat cultures of P. chrysogenum were compared, and putative L-arabinose transporter genes were tested for their ability to support L-arabinose transport upon expression in an S. cerevisiae strain engineered for L-arabinose fermentation in which GAL2 had been deleted. A P. chrysogenum transporter identified in this screen, PcAraTPc20g01790, was subjected to more detailed analysis, including kinetic sugar-uptake studies with radiolabelled substrates, in vivo studies on uptake inhibition, and physiological studies with engineered S. cerevisiae strains in L-arabinose-limited chemostat cultures.
Project description:Co-utilization of xylose and glucose from lignocellulosic biomass is an economically feasible bioprocess for chemical production. Many strategies have been implemented for efficiently assimilating xylose which is one of the predominant sugars of lignocellulosic biomass. However, there were few reports about engineering Saccharomyces cerevisiae for carotenoid production from xylose-glucose mixtures. Herein, we developed a platform for facilitating carotenoid production in S. cerevisiae by fermentation of xylose-glucose mixtures. Firstly, a xylose assimilation pathway with mutant xylose reductase (XYL1m), xylitol dehydrogenase (XYL2), and xylulokinase (XK) was constructed for utilizing xylose. Then, introduction of phosphoketolase (PK) pathway, deletion of Pho13 and engineering yeast hexose transporter Gal2 were conducted to improve carotenoid yields. The final strain SC105 produced a 1.6-fold higher production from mixed sugars than that from glucose in flask culture. In fed-batch fermentation with continuous feeding of mixed sugars, carotenoid production represented a 2.6-fold higher. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report that S. cerevisiae was engineered to utilize xylose-glucose mixtures for carotenoid production with a considerable high yield. The present study exhibits a promising advantage of xylose-glucose mixtures assimilating strain as an industrial carotenoid producer from lignocellulosic biomass.
Project description:The use of plant biomass for biofuel production will require efficient utilization of the sugars in lignocellulose, primarily glucose and xylose. However, strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae presently used in bioethanol production ferment glucose but not xylose. Yeasts engineered to ferment xylose do so slowly, and cannot utilize xylose until glucose is completely consumed. To overcome these bottlenecks, we engineered yeasts to coferment mixtures of xylose and cellobiose. In these yeast strains, hydrolysis of cellobiose takes place inside yeast cells through the action of an intracellular ?-glucosidase following import by a high-affinity cellodextrin transporter. Intracellular hydrolysis of cellobiose minimizes glucose repression of xylose fermentation allowing coconsumption of cellobiose and xylose. The resulting yeast strains, cofermented cellobiose and xylose simultaneously and exhibited improved ethanol yield when compared to fermentation with either cellobiose or xylose as sole carbon sources. We also observed improved yields and productivities from cofermentation experiments performed with simulated cellulosic hydrolyzates, suggesting this is a promising cofermentation strategy for cellulosic biofuel production. The successful integration of cellobiose and xylose fermentation pathways in yeast is a critical step towards enabling economic biofuel production.
Project description:Cas9-assisted genome editing was used to construct an engineered glucose-phosphorylation-negative S. cerevisiae strain, expressing the Lactobacillus plantaruml-arabinose pathway and the Penicillium chrysogenum transporter PcAraT. This strain, which showed a growth rate of 0.26 h-1 on l-arabinose in aerobic batch cultures, was subsequently evolved for anaerobic growth on l-arabinose in the presence of d-glucose and d-xylose. In four strains isolated from two independent evolution experiments the galactose-transporter gene GAL2 had been duplicated, with all alleles encoding Gal2N376T or Gal2N376I substitutions. In one strain, a single GAL2 allele additionally encoded a Gal2T89I substitution, which was subsequently also detected in the independently evolved strain IMS0010. In 14C-sugar-transport assays, Gal2N376S, Gal2N376T and Gal2N376I substitutions showed a much lower glucose sensitivity of l-arabinose transport and a much higher Km for d-glucose transport than wild-type Gal2. Introduction of the Gal2N376I substitution in a non-evolved strain enabled growth on l-arabinose in the presence of d-glucose. Gal2N376T, T89I and Gal2T89I variants showed a lower Km for l-arabinose and a higher Km for d-glucose than wild-type Gal2, while reverting Gal2N376T, T89I to Gal2N376 in an evolved strain negatively affected anaerobic growth on l-arabinose. This study indicates that optimal conversion of mixed-sugar feedstocks may require complex 'transporter landscapes', consisting of sugar transporters with complementary kinetic and regulatory properties.
Project description:Two novel genes affecting hexose transport in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been identified. The gene HXT1 (hexose transport), isolated from plasmid pSC7, was sequenced and found to encode a hydrophobic protein which is highly homologous to the large family of sugar transporter proteins from eucaryotes and procaryotes. Multicopy expression of the HXT1 gene restored high-affinity glucose transport to the snf3 mutant, which is deficient in a significant proportion of high-affinity glucose transport. HXT1 was unable to complement the snf3 growth defect in low copy number. The HXT1 protein was found to contain 12 putative membrane-spanning domains with a central hydrophilic domain and hydrophilic N- and C-terminal domains. The HXT1 protein is 69% identical to GAL2 and 66% identical to HXT2, and all three proteins were found to have a putative leucine zipper motif at a consensus location in membrane-spanning domain 2. Disruption of the HXT1 gene resulted in loss of a portion of high-affinity glucose and mannose transport, and wild-type levels of transport required both the HXT1 and SNF3 genes. Unexpectedly, expression of beta-galactosidase activity by using a fusion of the lacZ gene to the HXT1 promoter in a multicopy plasmid was maximal during lag and early exponential phases of growth, decreasing approximately 100-fold upon further entry into exponential growth. Deletion analysis of pSC7 revealed the presence of another gene (called ORF2) capable of suppressing the snf3 null mutant phenotype by restoring high-affinity glucose transport and increased low-affinity transport.