Increasing anaerobic acetate consumption and ethanol yields in Saccharomyces cerevisiae with NADPH-specific alcohol dehydrogenase.
ABSTRACT: Saccharomyces cerevisiae has recently been engineered to use acetate, a primary inhibitor in lignocellulosic hydrolysates, as a cosubstrate during anaerobic ethanolic fermentation. However, the original metabolic pathway devised to convert acetate to ethanol uses NADH-specific acetylating acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and alcohol dehydrogenase and quickly becomes constrained by limited NADH availability, even when glycerol formation is abolished. We present alcohol dehydrogenase as a novel target for anaerobic redox engineering of S. cerevisiae. Introduction of an NADPH-specific alcohol dehydrogenase (NADPH-ADH) not only reduces the NADH demand of the acetate-to-ethanol pathway but also allows the cell to effectively exchange NADPH for NADH during sugar fermentation. Unlike NADH, NADPH can be freely generated under anoxic conditions, via the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway. We show that an industrial bioethanol strain engineered with the original pathway (expressing acetylating acetaldehyde dehydrogenase from Bifidobacterium adolescentis and with deletions of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase genes GPD1 and GPD2) consumed 1.9 g liter(-1) acetate during fermentation of 114 g liter(-1) glucose. Combined with a decrease in glycerol production from 4.0 to 0.1 g liter(-1), this increased the ethanol yield by 4% over that for the wild type. We provide evidence that acetate consumption in this strain is indeed limited by NADH availability. By introducing an NADPH-ADH from Entamoeba histolytica and with overexpression of ACS2 and ZWF1, we increased acetate consumption to 5.3 g liter(-1) and raised the ethanol yield to 7% above the wild-type level.
Project description:In anaerobic cultures of wild-type Saccharomyces cerevisiae, glycerol production is essential to reoxidize NADH produced in biosynthetic processes. Consequently, glycerol is a major by-product during anaerobic production of ethanol by S. cerevisiae, the single largest fermentation process in industrial biotechnology. The present study investigates the possibility of completely eliminating glycerol production by engineering S. cerevisiae such that it can reoxidize NADH by the reduction of acetic acid to ethanol via NADH-dependent reactions. Acetic acid is available at significant amounts in lignocellulosic hydrolysates of agricultural residues. Consistent with earlier studies, deletion of the two genes encoding NAD-dependent glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPD1 and GPD2) led to elimination of glycerol production and an inability to grow anaerobically. However, when the E. coli mhpF gene, encoding the acetylating NAD-dependent acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (EC 126.96.36.199; acetaldehyde+NAD++coenzyme A<-->acetyl coenzyme A+NADH+H+), was expressed in the gpd1Delta gpd2Delta strain, anaerobic growth was restored by supplementation with 2.0 g liter(-1) acetic acid. The stoichiometry of acetate consumption and growth was consistent with the complete replacement of glycerol formation by acetate reduction to ethanol as the mechanism for NADH reoxidation. This study provides a proof of principle for the potential of this metabolic engineering strategy to improve ethanol yields, eliminate glycerol production, and partially convert acetate, which is a well-known inhibitor of yeast performance in lignocellulosic hydrolysates, to ethanol. Further research should address the kinetic aspects of acetate reduction and the effect of the elimination of glycerol production on cellular robustness (e.g., osmotolerance).
Project description:Acetic acid, an inhibitor of sugar fermentation by yeast, is invariably present in lignocellulosic hydrolysates which are used or considered as feedstocks for yeast-based bioethanol production. Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains have been constructed, in which anaerobic reduction of acetic acid to ethanol replaces glycerol formation as a mechanism for reoxidizing NADH formed in biosynthesis. An increase in the amount of acetate that can be reduced to ethanol should further decrease acetic acid concentrations and enable higher ethanol yields in industrial processes based on lignocellulosic feedstocks. The stoichiometric requirement of acetate reduction for NADH implies that increased generation of NADH in cytosolic biosynthetic reactions should enhance acetate consumption.Replacement of the native NADP(+)-dependent 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase in S. cerevisiae by a prokaryotic NAD(+)-dependent enzyme resulted in increased cytosolic NADH formation, as demonstrated by a ca. 15% increase in the glycerol yield on glucose in anaerobic cultures. Additional deletion of ALD6, which encodes an NADP(+)-dependent acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, led to a 39% increase in the glycerol yield compared to a non-engineered strain. Subsequent replacement of glycerol formation by an acetate reduction pathway resulted in a 44% increase of acetate consumption per amount of biomass formed, as compared to an engineered, acetate-reducing strain that expressed the native 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase and ALD6. Compared to a non-acetate reducing reference strain under the same conditions, this resulted in a ca. 13% increase in the ethanol yield on glucose.The combination of NAD(+)-dependent 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase expression and deletion of ALD6 resulted in a marked increase in the amount of acetate that was consumed in these proof-of-principle experiments, and this concept is ready for further testing in industrial strains as well as in hydrolysates. Altering the cofactor specificity of the oxidative branch of the pentose-phosphate pathway in S. cerevisiae can also be used to increase glycerol production in wine fermentation and to improve NADH generation and/or generation of precursors derived from the pentose-phosphate pathway in other industrial applications of this yeast.
Project description:NfnAB catalyzes the reversible transfer of electrons from reduced ferredoxin and NADH to 2 NADP(+). The NfnAB complex has been hypothesized to be the main enzyme for ferredoxin oxidization in strains of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum engineered for increased ethanol production. NfnAB complex activity was detectable in crude cell extracts of T. saccharolyticum. Activity was also detected using activity staining of native PAGE gels. The nfnAB gene was deleted in different strains of T. saccharolyticum to determine its effect on end product formation. In wild-type T. saccharolyticum, deletion of nfnAB resulted in a 46% increase in H2 formation but otherwise little change in other fermentation products. In two engineered strains with 80% theoretical ethanol yield, loss of nfnAB caused two different responses: in one strain, ethanol yield decreased to about 30% of the theoretical value, while another strain had no change in ethanol yield. Biochemical analysis of cell extracts showed that the ?nfnAB strain with decreased ethanol yield had NADPH-linked alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) activity, while the ?nfnAB strain with unchanged ethanol yield had NADH-linked ADH activity. Deletion of nfnAB caused loss of NADPH-linked ferredoxin oxidoreductase activity in all cell extracts. Significant NADH-linked ferredoxin oxidoreductase activity was seen in all cell extracts, including those that had lost nfnAB. This suggests that there is an unidentified NADH:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (distinct from nfnAB) playing a role in ethanol formation. The NfnAB complex plays a key role in generating NADPH in a strain that had become reliant on NADPH-ADH activity.Thermophilic anaerobes that can convert biomass-derived sugars into ethanol have been investigated as candidates for biofuel formation. Many anaerobes have been genetically engineered to increase biofuel formation; however, key aspects of metabolism remain unknown and poorly understood. One example is the mechanism for ferredoxin oxidation and transfer of electrons to NAD(P)(+). The electron-bifurcating enzyme complex NfnAB is known to catalyze the reversible transfer of electrons from reduced ferredoxin and NADH to 2 NADP(+) and is thought to play key roles linking NAD(P)(H) metabolism with ferredoxin metabolism. We report the first deletion of nfnAB and demonstrate a role for NfnAB in metabolism and ethanol formation in Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and show that this may be an important feature among other thermophilic ethanologenic anaerobes.
Project description:Clostridium thermocellum and Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum are thermophilic bacteria that have been engineered to produce ethanol from the cellulose and hemicellulose fractions of biomass, respectively. Although engineered strains of T. saccharolyticum produce ethanol with a yield of 90% of the theoretical maximum, engineered strains of C. thermocellum produce ethanol at lower yields (?50% of the theoretical maximum). In the course of engineering these strains, a number of mutations have been discovered in their adhE genes, which encode both alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzymes. To understand the effects of these mutations, the adhE genes from six strains of C. thermocellum and T. saccharolyticum were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, the enzymes produced were purified by affinity chromatography, and enzyme activity was measured. In wild-type strains of both organisms, NADH was the preferred cofactor for both ALDH and ADH activities. In high-ethanol-producing (ethanologen) strains of T. saccharolyticum, both ALDH and ADH activities showed increased NADPH-linked activity. Interestingly, the AdhE protein of the ethanologenic strain of C. thermocellum has acquired high NADPH-linked ADH activity while maintaining NADH-linked ALDH and ADH activities at wild-type levels. When single amino acid mutations in AdhE that caused increased NADPH-linked ADH activity were introduced into C. thermocellum and T. saccharolyticum, ethanol production increased in both organisms. Structural analysis of the wild-type and mutant AdhE proteins was performed to provide explanations for the cofactor specificity change on a molecular level.This work describes the characterization of the AdhE enzyme from different strains of C. thermocellum and T. saccharolyticum. C. thermocellum and T. saccharolyticum are thermophilic anaerobes that have been engineered to make high yields of ethanol and can solubilize components of plant biomass and ferment the sugars to ethanol. In the course of engineering these strains, several mutations arose in the bifunctional ADH/ALDH protein AdhE, changing both enzyme activity and cofactor specificity. We show that changing AdhE cofactor specificity from mostly NADH linked to mostly NADPH linked resulted in higher ethanol production by C. thermocellum and T. saccharolyticum.
Project description:The effect of overexpression of the gene ADH2 on metabolic and biological activity in Saccharomyces bayanus V5 during alcoholic fermentation has been evaluated. This gene is known to encode alcohol dehydrogenase II (ADH II). During the biological aging of sherry wines, where yeasts have to grow on ethanol owing to the absence of glucose, this isoenzyme plays a prominent role by converting the ethanol into acetaldehyde and producing NADH in the process. Overexpression of the gene ADH2 during alcoholic fermentation has no effect on the proteomic profile or the net production of some metabolites associated with glycolysis and alcoholic fermentation such as ethanol, acetaldehyde, and glycerol. However, it affects indirectly glucose and ammonium uptakes, cell growth, and intracellular redox potential, which lead to an altered metabolome. The increased contents in acetoin, acetic acid, and L-proline present in the fermentation medium under these conditions can be ascribed to detoxification by removal of excess acetaldehyde and the need to restore and maintain the intracellular redox potential balance.
Project description:The purification and characterization of three enzymes involved in ethanol formation from acetyl-CoA in Thermoanaerobacter ethanolicus 39E (formerly Clostridium thermohydrosulfuricum 39E) is described. The secondary-alcohol dehydrogenase (2 degrees Adh) was determined to be a homotetramer of 40 kDa subunits (SDS/PAGE) with a molecular mass of 160 kDa. The 2 degrees Adh had a lower catalytic efficiency for the oxidation of 1 degree alcohols, including ethanol, than for the oxidation of secondary (2 degrees) alcohols or the reduction of ketones or aldehydes. This enzyme possesses a significant acetyl-CoA reductive thioesterase activity as determined by NADPH oxidation, thiol formation and ethanol production. The primary-alcohol dehydrogenase (1 degree Adh) was determined to be a homotetramer of 41.5 kDa (SDS/PAGE) subunits with a molecular mass of 170 kDa. The 1 degree Adh used both NAD(H) and NADP(H) and displayed higher catalytic efficiencies for NADP(+)-dependent ethanol oxidation and NADH-dependent acetaldehyde (identical to ethanal) reduction than for NADPH-dependent acetaldehyde reduction or NAD(+)-dependent ethanol oxidation. The NAD(H)-linked acetaldehyde dehydrogenase was a homotetramer (360 kDa) of identical subunits (100 kDa) that readily catalysed thioester cleavage and condensation. The 1 degree Adh was expressed at 5-20% of the level of the 2 degrees Adh throughout the growth cycle on glucose. The results suggest that the 2 degrees Adh primarily functions in ethanol production from acetyl-CoA and acetaldehyde, whereas the 1 degree Adh functions in ethanol consumption for nicotinamide-cofactor recycling.
Project description:Glycerol production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is required for redox-cofactor balancing in anaerobic cultures, causes yield reduction in industrial bioethanol production. Recently, glycerol formation in anaerobic S.?cerevisiae cultures was eliminated by expressing Escherichia coli (acetylating) acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (encoded by mhpF) and simultaneously deleting the GPD1 and GPD2 genes encoding glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, thus coupling NADH reoxidation to reduction of acetate to ethanol. Gpd? strains are, however, sensitive to high sugar concentrations, which complicates industrial implementation of this metabolic engineering concept. In this study, laboratory evolution was used to improve osmotolerance of a Gpd? mhpF-expressing S.?cerevisiae strain. Serial batch cultivation at increasing osmotic pressure enabled isolation of an evolved strain that grew anaerobically at 1?M glucose, at a specific growth rate of 0.12 h?¹. The evolved strain produced glycerol at low concentrations (0.64 ± 0.33 g?l?¹). However, these glycerol concentrations were below 10% of those observed with a Gpd? reference strain. Consequently, the ethanol yield on sugar increased from 79% of the theoretical maximum in the reference strain to 92% for the evolved strains. Genetic analysis indicated that osmotolerance under aerobic conditions required a single dominant chromosomal mutation, and one further mutation in the plasmid-borne mhpF gene for anaerobic growth.
Project description:It was recently found that the cytoplasmic butyryl-coenzyme A (butyryl-CoA) dehydrogenase-EtfAB complex from Clostridium kluyveri couples the exergonic reduction of crotonyl-CoA to butyryl-CoA with NADH and the endergonic reduction of ferredoxin with NADH via flavin-based electron bifurcation. We report here on a second cytoplasmic enzyme complex in C. kluyveri capable of energetic coupling via this novel mechanism. It was found that the purified iron-sulfur flavoprotein complex NfnAB couples the exergonic reduction of NADP+ with reduced ferredoxin (Fdred) and the endergonic reduction of NADP+ with NADH in a reversible reaction: Fdred2-+NADH+2 NADP++H+=Fdox+NAD++2 NADPH. The role of this energy-converting enzyme complex in the ethanol-acetate fermentation of C. kluyveri is discussed.
Project description:Ethanol fermentation is considered as one of the main metabolic adaptations to ensure energy production in higher plants under anaerobic conditions. Following this pathway, pyruvate is decarboxylated and reduced to ethanol with the concomitant oxidation of NADH to NAD+. Despite its acknowledgement as an essential metabolic strategy, the conservation of this pathway and its regulation throughout plant evolution have not been assessed so far. To address this question, we compared ethanol fermentation in species representing subsequent steps in plant evolution and related it to the structural features and transcriptional regulation of the two enzymes involved: pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). We observed that, despite the conserved ability to produce ethanol upon hypoxia in distant phyla, transcriptional regulation of the enzymes involved is not conserved in ancient plant lineages, whose ADH homologues do not share structural features distinctive for acetaldehyde/ethanol-processing enzymes. Moreover, Arabidopsis mutants devoid of ADH expression exhibited enhanced PDC activity and retained substantial ethanol production under hypoxic conditions. Therefore, we concluded that, whereas ethanol production is a highly conserved adaptation to low oxygen, its catalysis and regulation in land plants probably involve components that will be identified in the future.
Project description:We report a Thermotoga hypogea (Th) alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)-dependent spectrophotometric assay for quantifying the amount of butanol in growth media, an advance that will facilitate rapid high-throughput screening of hypo- and hyper-butanol-producing strains of solventogenic Clostridium species. While a colorimetric nitroblue tetrazolium chloride-based assay for quantitating butanol in acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation broth has been described previously, we determined that Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Sc) ADH used in this earlier study exhibits approximately 13-fold lower catalytic efficiency towards butanol than ethanol. Any Sc ADH-dependent assay for primary quantitation of butanol in an ethanol-butanol mixture is therefore subject to "ethanol interference". To circumvent this limitation and better facilitate identification of hyper-butanol-producing Clostridia, we searched the literature for native ADHs that preferentially utilize butanol over ethanol and identified Th ADH as a candidate. Indeed, recombinant Th ADH exhibited a 6-fold higher catalytic efficiency with butanol than ethanol, as measured using the reduction of NADP+ to NADPH that accompanies alcohol oxidation. Moreover, the assay sensitivity was not affected by the presence of acetone, acetic acid or butyric acid (typical ABE fermentation products). We broadened the utility of our assay by adapting it to a high-throughput microtiter plate-based format, and piloted it successfully in an ongoing metabolic engineering initiative.