Model-based transcriptome engineering promotes a fermentative transcriptional state in yeast.
ABSTRACT: The ability to rationally manipulate the transcriptional states of cells would be of great use in medicine and bioengineering. We have developed an algorithm, NetSurgeon, which uses genome-wide gene-regulatory networks to identify interventions that force a cell toward a desired expression state. We first validated NetSurgeon extensively on existing datasets. Next, we used NetSurgeon to select transcription factor deletions aimed at improving ethanol production in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cultures that are catabolizing xylose. We reasoned that interventions that move the transcriptional state of cells using xylose toward that of cells producing large amounts of ethanol from glucose might improve xylose fermentation. Some of the interventions selected by NetSurgeon successfully promoted a fermentative transcriptional state in the absence of glucose, resulting in strains with a 2.7-fold increase in xylose import rates, a 4-fold improvement in xylose integration into central carbon metabolism, or a 1.3-fold increase in ethanol production rate. We conclude by presenting an integrated model of transcriptional regulation and metabolic flux that will enable future efforts aimed at improving xylose fermentation to prioritize functional regulators of central carbon metabolism.
Project description:Purpose: The ability to rationally manipulate the transcriptional states of cells would be of great use in medicine and bioengineering. We have developed a novel algorithm, NetSurgeon, which utilizes genome-wide gene regulatory networks to identify interventions that force a cell toward a desired expression state. Results: We used NetSurgeon to select transcription factor deletions aimed at improving ethanol production in S. cerevisiae cultures that are catabolizing xylose. We reasoned that interventions that move the transcriptional states of cells utilizing xylose toward the fermentative state typical of cells that are producing ethanol rapidly (while utilizing glucose) might improve xylose fermentation. Some of the interventions selected by NetSurgeon successfully promoted a fermentative transcriptional state in the absence of glucose, resulting in strains with a 2.7-fold increase in xylose import rates, a 4-fold improvement in xylose integration into central carbon metabolism, or a 1.3-fold increase in ethanol production rate. Conclusions: We conclude by presenting an integrated model of transcriptional regulation and metabolic flux that will enable future metabolic engineering efforts aimed at improving xylose fermentation to prioritize functional regulators of central carbon metabolism. Overall design: Mutant and wildtype S. cerevisiae cells were put into 48 hour aerobic batch fermentations of synthetic complete medium supplmented with 2% glucose and 5% xylose and culture samples were taken at 4 hours and 24 hours for transcriptional profiling performed by RNA-Seq analysis. In addition, wildtype S. cerevisiae cells were grown in various single carbon sources for 12 hours and culture samples were taken for transcriptional profiling performed by RNA-Seq analysis.
Project description:Two genes coding for isozymes of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH); designated PsADH1 and PsADH2, have been identified and isolated from Pichia stipitis CBS 6054 genomic DNA by Southern hybridization to Saccharomyces cerevisiae ADH genes, and their physiological roles have been characterized through disruption. The amino acid sequences of the PsADH1 and PsADH2 isozymes are 80.5% identical to one another and are 71.9 and 74.7% identical to the S. cerevisiae ADH1 protein. They also show a high level identity with the group I ADH proteins from Kluyveromyces lactis. The PsADH isozymes are presumably localized in the cytoplasm, as they do not possess the amino-terminal extension of mitochondrion-targeted ADHs. Gene disruption studies suggest that PsADH1 plays a major role in xylose fermentation because PsADH1 disruption results in a lower growth rate and profoundly greater accumulation of xylitol. Disruption of PsADH2 does not significantly affect ethanol production or aerobic growth on ethanol as long as PsADH1 is present. The PsADH1 and PsADH2 isozymes appear to be equivalent in the ability to convert ethanol to acetaldehyde, and either is sufficient to allow cell growth on ethanol. However, disruption of both genes blocks growth on ethanol. P. stipitis strains disrupted in either PsADH1 or PsADH2 still accumulate ethanol, although in different amounts, when grown on xylose under oxygen-limited conditions. The PsADH double disruptant, which is unable to grow on ethanol, still produces ethanol from xylose at about 13% of the rate seen in the parental strain. Thus, deletion of both PsADH1 and PsADH2 blocks ethanol respiration but not production, implying a separate path for fermentation.
Project description:The development of robust microorganisms that can efficiently ferment both glucose and xylose represents one of the major challenges in achieving a cost-effective lignocellulosic bioethanol production. Candida intermedia is a non-conventional, xylose-utilizing yeast species with a high-capacity xylose transport system. The natural ability of C. intermedia to produce ethanol from xylose makes it attractive as a non-GMO alternative for lignocellulosic biomass conversion in biorefineries. We have evaluated the fermentation capacity and the tolerance to lignocellulose-derived inhibitors and the end product, ethanol, of the C. intermedia strain CBS 141442 isolated from steam-exploded wheat straw hydrolysate. In a mixed sugar fermentation medium, C. intermedia CBS 141442 co-fermented glucose and xylose, although with a preference for glucose over xylose. The strain was clearly more sensitive to inhibitors and ethanol when consuming xylose than glucose. C. intermedia CBS 141442 was also subjected to evolutionary engineering with the aim of increasing its tolerance to inhibitors and ethanol, and thus improving its fermentation capacity under harsh conditions. The resulting evolved population was able to ferment a 50% (v/v) steam-exploded wheat straw hydrolysate (which was completely inhibitory to the parental strain), improving the sugar consumption and the final ethanol concentration. The evolved population also exhibited a better tolerance to ethanol when growing in a xylose medium supplemented with 35.5 g/L ethanol. These results highlight the potential of C. intermedia CBS 141442 to become a robust yeast for the conversion of lignocellulose to ethanol.
Project description:Bio-ethanol production from lignocellulosic raw materials could serve as a sustainable potential for improving the supply of liquid fuels in face of the food-to-fuel competition and the growing energy demand. Xylose is the second abundant sugar of lignocelluloses hydrolysates, but its commercial-scale conversion to ethanol by fermentation is challenged by incomplete and inefficient utilization of xylose. Here, we use a coupled strategy of simultaneous maltose utilization and in-situ carbon dioxide (CO2) fixation to achieve efficient xylose fermentation by the engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our results showed that the introduction of CO2 as electron acceptor for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) oxidation increased the total ethanol productivity and yield at the expense of simultaneous maltose and xylose utilization. Our achievements present an innovative strategy using CO2 to drive and redistribute the central pathways of xylose to desirable products and demonstrate a possible breakthrough in product yield of sugars.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Xylitol accumulation is a major barrier for efficient ethanol production through heterologous xylose reductase-xylitol dehydrogenase (XR-XDH) pathway in recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mutated NADH-preferring XR is usually employed to alleviate xylitol accumulation. However, it remains unclear how mutated XR affects the metabolic network for xylose metabolism. In this study, haploid and diploid strains were employed to investigate the transcriptional responses to changes in cofactor preference of XR through RNA-seq analysis during xylose fermentation. RESULTS:For the haploid strains, genes involved in xylose-assimilation (XYL1, XYL2, XKS1), glycolysis, and alcohol fermentation had higher transcript levels in response to mutated XR, which was consistent with the improved xylose consumption rate and ethanol yield. For the diploid strains, genes related to protein biosynthesis were upregulated while genes involved in glyoxylate shunt were downregulated in response to mutated XR, which might contribute to the improved yields of biomass and ethanol. When comparing the diploids with the haploids, genes involved in glycolysis and MAPK signaling pathway were significantly downregulated, while oxidative stress related transcription factors (TFs) were significantly upregulated, irrespective of the cofactor preference of XR. CONCLUSIONS:Our results not only revealed the differences in transcriptional responses of the diploid and haploid strains to mutated XR, but also provided underlying basis for better understanding the differences in xylose metabolism between the diploid and haploid strains.
Project description:Background:Engineered strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae have significantly improved the prospects of biorefinery by improving the bioconversion yields in lignocellulosic bioethanol production and expanding the product profiles to include advanced biofuels and chemicals. However, the lignocellulosic biorefinery concept has not been fully applied using engineered strains in which either xylose utilization or advanced biofuel/chemical production pathways have been upgraded separately. Specifically, high-performance xylose-fermenting strains have rarely been employed as advanced biofuel and chemical production platforms and require further engineering to expand their product profiles. Results:In this study, we refactored a high-performance xylose-fermenting S. cerevisiae that could potentially serve as a platform strain for advanced biofuels and biochemical production. Through combinatorial CRISPR-Cas9-mediated rational and evolutionary engineering, we obtained a newly refactored isomerase-based xylose-fermenting strain, XUSE, that demonstrated efficient conversion of xylose into ethanol with a high yield of 0.43 g/g. In addition, XUSE exhibited the simultaneous fermentation of glucose and xylose with negligible glucose inhibition, indicating the potential of this isomerase-based xylose-utilizing strain for lignocellulosic biorefinery. The genomic and transcriptomic analysis of XUSE revealed beneficial mutations and changes in gene expression that are responsible for the enhanced xylose fermentation performance of XUSE. Conclusions:In this study, we developed a high-performance xylose-fermenting S. cerevisiae strain, XUSE, with high ethanol yield and negligible glucose inhibition. Understanding the genomic and transcriptomic characteristics of XUSE revealed isomerase-based engineering strategies for improved xylose fermentation in S. cerevisiae. With high xylose fermentation performance and room for further engineering, XUSE could serve as a promising platform strain for lignocellulosic biorefinery.
Project description:The heterologous expression of a highly functional xylose isomerase pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae would have significant advantages for ethanol yield, since the pathway bypasses cofactor requirements found in the traditionally used oxidoreductase pathways. However, nearly all reported xylose isomerase-based pathways in S. cerevisiae suffer from poor ethanol productivity, low xylose consumption rates, and poor cell growth compared with an oxidoreductase pathway and, additionally, often require adaptive strain evolution. Here, we report on the directed evolution of the Piromyces sp. xylose isomerase (encoded by xylA) for use in yeast. After three rounds of mutagenesis and growth-based screening, we isolated a variant containing six mutations (E15D, E114G, E129D, T142S, A177T, and V433I) that exhibited a 77% increase in enzymatic activity. When expressed in a minimally engineered yeast host containing a gre3 knockout and tal1 and XKS1 overexpression, the strain expressing this mutant enzyme improved its aerobic growth rate by 61-fold and both ethanol production and xylose consumption rates by nearly 8-fold. Moreover, the mutant enzyme enabled ethanol production by these yeasts under oxygen-limited fermentation conditions, unlike the wild-type enzyme. Under microaerobic conditions, the ethanol production rates of the strain expressing the mutant xylose isomerase were considerably higher than previously reported values for yeast harboring a xylose isomerase pathway and were also comparable to those of the strains harboring an oxidoreductase pathway. Consequently, this study shows the potential to evolve a xylose isomerase pathway for more efficient xylose utilization.
Project description:Clostridium (Ruminiclostridium) thermocellum is recognized for its ability to ferment cellulosic biomass directly, but it cannot naturally grow on xylose. Recently, C. thermocellum (KJC335) was engineered to utilize xylose through expressing a heterologous xylose catabolizing pathway. Here, we compared KJC335's transcriptomic responses to xylose versus cellobiose as the primary carbon source and assessed how the bacteria adapted to utilize xylose. Our analyses revealed 417 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with log2 fold change (FC)?>|1| and 106 highly DEGs (log2 FC?>|2|). Among the DEGs, two putative sugar transporters, cbpC and cbpD, were up-regulated, suggesting their contribution to xylose transport and assimilation. Moreover, the up-regulation of specific transketolase genes (tktAB) suggests the importance of this enzyme for xylose metabolism. Results also showed remarkable up-regulation of chemotaxis and motility associated genes responding to xylose feeding, as well as widely varying gene expression in those encoding cellulosomal enzymes. For the down-regulated genes, several were categorized in gene ontology terms oxidation-reduction processes, ATP binding and ATPase activity, and integral components of the membrane. This study informs potentially critical, enabling mechanisms to realize the conceptually attractive Next-Generation Consolidated BioProcessing approach where a single species is sufficient for the co-fermentation of cellulose and hemicellulose.
Project description:Ogataea (Hansenula) polymorpha is one of the most thermotolerant xylose-fermenting yeast species reported to date. Several metabolic engineering approaches have been successfully demonstrated to improve high-temperature alcoholic fermentation by O. polymorpha. Further improvement of ethanol production from xylose in O. polymorpha depends on the identification of bottlenecks in the xylose conversion pathway to ethanol.Involvement of peroxisomal enzymes in xylose metabolism has not been described to date. Here, we found that peroxisomal transketolase (known also as dihydroxyacetone synthase) and peroxisomal transaldolase (enzyme with unknown function) in the thermotolerant methylotrophic yeast, Ogataea (Hansenula) polymorpha, are required for xylose alcoholic fermentation, but not for growth on this pentose sugar. Mutants with knockout of DAS1 and TAL2 coding for peroxisomal transketolase and peroxisomal transaldolase, respectively, normally grow on xylose. However, these mutants were found to be unable to support ethanol production. The O. polymorpha mutant with the TAL1 knockout (coding for cytosolic transaldolase) normally grew on glucose and did not grow on xylose; this defect was rescued by overexpression of TAL2. The conditional mutant, pYNR1-TKL1, that expresses the cytosolic transketolase gene under control of the ammonium repressible nitrate reductase promoter did not grow on xylose and grew poorly on glucose media supplemented with ammonium. Overexpression of DAS1 only partially restored the defects displayed by the pYNR1-TKL1 mutant. The mutants defective in peroxisome biogenesis, pex3? and pex6?, showed normal growth on xylose, but were unable to ferment this sugar. Moreover, the pex3? mutant of the non-methylotrophic yeast, Scheffersomyces (Pichia) stipitis, normally grows on and ferments xylose. Separate overexpression or co-overexpression of DAS1 and TAL2 in the wild-type strain increased ethanol synthesis from xylose 2 to 4 times with no effect on the alcoholic fermentation of glucose. Overexpression of TKL1 and TAL1 also elevated ethanol production from xylose. Finally, co-overexpression of DAS1 and TAL2 in the best previously isolated O. polymorpha xylose to ethanol producer led to increase in ethanol accumulation up to 16.5 g/L at 45 °C; or 30-40?times more ethanol than is produced by the wild-type strain.Our results indicate the importance of the peroxisomal enzymes, transketolase (dihydroxyacetone synthase, Das1), and transaldolase (Tal2), in the xylose alcoholic fermentation of O. polymorpha.
Project description:Eight fermentative bacterial strains were isolated from mixed enrichment cultures of a composite soil sample collected at 1.34 km depth from the former Homestake gold mine in Lead, SD, USA. Phylogenetic analysis of their 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that these isolates were affiliated with the phylum Firmicutes belonging to genera Bacillus and Clostridium. Batch fermentation studies demonstrated that isolates had the ability to ferment glucose, xylose, or glycerol to industrially valuable products such as ethanol and 1,3-propanediol (PDO). Ethanol was detected as the major fermentation end product in glucose-fermenting cultures at pH 10 with yields of 0.205-0.304 g of ethanol/g of glucose. While a xylose-fermenting strain yielded 0.189 g of ethanol/g of xylose and 0.585 g of acetic acid/g of xylose at the end of fermentation. At pH 7, glycerol-fermenting isolates produced PDO (0.323-0.458 g of PDO/g of glycerol) and ethanol (0.284-0.350 g of ethanol/g of glycerol) as major end products while acetic acid and succinic acid were identified as minor by-products in fermentation broths. These results suggest that the deep biosphere of the former Homestake gold mine harbors bacterial strains which could be used in bio-based production of ethanol and PDO.