ABSTRACT: Ruminiclostridium thermocellum DSM 1313 strain adhE*(EA) expression was studied along with ∆hydG and ∆hydG∆ech mutants strains deposited under GSE54082. All strains have been described in a study entitled Elimination of hydrogenase post-translational modification blocks H2 production and increases ethanol yield in Clostridium thermocellum. Biswas, et .al. Biotechnology for Biofuels 2015 8:20 Ruminiclostridium (Clostridium) thermocellum is a leading candidate organism for implementing a consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) strategy for biofuel production due to its native ability to rapidly consume cellulose and its existing ethanol production pathway. C. thermocellum converts cellulose and cellobiose to lactate, formate, acetate, H2, ethanol, amino acids, and other products. Elimination of the pathways leading to products such as H2 could redirect carbon flux towards ethanol production. Rather than delete each hydrogenase individually, we targeted a hydrogenase maturase gene (hydG), which is involved in converting the three [FeFe] hydrogenase apoenzymes into holoenzymes by assembling the active site. This functionally inactivated all three Fe-Fe hydrogenases simultaneously, as they were unable to make active enzymes. In the ∆hydG mutant, the [NiFe] hydrogenase-encoding ech was also deleted to obtain a mutant that functionally lacks all hydrogenase. The ethanol yield increased nearly 2-fold in ∆hydG∆ech compared to wild type, and H2 production was below the detection limit. Interestingly, ∆hydG and ∆hydG∆ech exhibited improved growth in the presence of acetate in the medium. Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis reveal that genes related to sulfate transport and metabolism were up-regulated in the presence of added acetate in ∆hydG, resulting in altered sulfur metabolism. Further genomic analysis of this strain revealed a mutation in the bi-functional alcohol/aldehyde dehydrogenase adhE gene, resulting in a strain with both NADH- and NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase activities, whereas the wild type strain can only utilize NADH. This is the exact same adhE mutation found in ethanol-tolerant C. thermocellum strain E50C, but ∆hydG∆ech is not more ethanol tolerant than the wild type. Targeting protein post-translational modification is a promising new approach to target multiple enzymes simultaneously for metabolic engineering. This GEO study pertains to expression profiles generated for C. thermocellum DSM 1313 strain adhE*(EA) Overall design: A six array study using total RNA recovered from Clostridium thermocellum DSM 1313 adhE*(EA) 27405 cultures. Cells were harvested at an OD 0.4-0.5 from cultures grown in the presence of additional 5mM acetate and compared to untreated controls. Three biological replicates were performed for treated and untreated cultures.
Project description:Clostridium thermocellum is a leading candidate organism for implementing a consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) strategy for biofuel production due to its native ability to rapidly consume cellulose and its existing ethanol production pathway. C. thermocellum converts cellulose and cellobiose to lactate, formate, acetate, H2, ethanol, amino acids, and other products. Elimination of the pathways leading to products such as H2 could redirect carbon flux towards ethanol production. Rather than delete each hydrogenase individually, we targeted a hydrogenase maturase gene (hydG), which is involved in converting the three [FeFe] hydrogenase apoenzymes into holoenzymes by assembling the active site. This functionally inactivated all three Fe-Fe hydrogenases simultaneously, as they were unable to make active enzymes. In the ∆hydG mutant, the [NiFe] hydrogenase-encoding ech was also deleted to obtain a mutant that functionally lacks all hydrogenase. The ethanol yield increased nearly 2-fold in ∆hydG∆ech compared to wild type, and H2 production was below the detection limit. Interestingly, ∆hydG and ∆hydG∆ech exhibited improved growth in the presence of acetate in the medium. Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis reveal that genes related to sulfate transport and metabolism were up-regulated in the presence of added acetate in ∆hydG, resulting in altered sulfur metabolism. Further genomic analysis of this strain revealed a mutation in the bi-functional alcohol/aldehyde dehydrogenase adhE gene, resulting in a strain with both NADH- and NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase activities, whereas the wild type strain can only utilize NADH. This is the exact same adhE mutation found in ethanol-tolerant C. thermocellum strain E50C, but ∆hydG∆ech is not more ethanol tolerant than the wild type. Targeting protein post-translational modification is a promising new approach to target multiple enzymes simultaneously for metabolic engineering. A seventeen array study using total RNA recovered from fermentation cultures of three strains (parental, ∆hydG and ∆hydG∆ech) of Clostridium thermocellum DSM1313. Cells were harvested at an OD 0.4-0.5 from cultures grown in the presence of additional 5mM acetate and compared to untreated controls. At least two biological replicates were performed for each treatment and control condition.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Metabolic engineering is a commonly used approach to develop organisms for an industrial function, but engineering aimed at improving one phenotype can negatively impact other phenotypes. This lack of robustness can prove problematic. Cellulolytic bacterium Clostridium thermocellum is able to rapidly ferment cellulose to ethanol and other products. Recently, genes involved in H2 production, including the hydrogenase maturase hydG and NiFe hydrogenase ech, were deleted from the chromosome of C. thermocellum. While ethanol yield increased, the growth rate of ?hydG decreased substantially compared to wild type. RESULTS:Addition of 5 mM acetate to the growth medium improved the growth rate in C. thermocellum ?hydG, whereas wild type remained unaffected. Transcriptomic analysis of the wild type showed essentially no response to the addition of acetate. However, in C. thermocellum ?hydG, 204 and 56 genes were significantly differentially regulated relative to wild type in the absence and presence of acetate, respectively. Genes, Clo1313_0108-0125, which are predicted to encode a sulfate transport system and sulfate assimilatory pathway, were drastically upregulated in C. thermocellum ?hydG in the presence of added acetate. A similar pattern was seen with proteomics. Further physiological characterization demonstrated an increase in sulfide synthesis and elimination of cysteine consumption in C. thermocellum ?hydG. Clostridium thermocellum ?hydG?ech had a higher growth rate than ?hydG in the absence of added acetate, and a similar but less pronounced transcriptional and physiological effect was seen in this strain upon addition of acetate. CONCLUSIONS:Sulfur metabolism is perturbed in C. thermocellum ?hydG strains, likely to increase flux through sulfate reduction to act either as an electron sink to balance redox reactions or to offset an unknown deficiency in sulfur assimilation.
Project description:Large-scale production of lignocellulosic biofuel is a potential solution to sustainably meet global energy needs. One-step consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) is a potentially advantageous approach for the production of biofuels, but requires an organism capable of hydrolyzing biomass to sugars and fermenting the sugars to ethanol at commercially viable titers and yields. Clostridium thermocellum, a thermophilic anaerobe, can ferment cellulosic biomass to ethanol and organic acids, but low yield, low titer, and ethanol sensitivity remain barriers to industrial production. Here, we deleted the hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase gene in ethanol tolerant strain of C. thermocellum adhE*(EA) in order to allow use of previously developed gene deletion tools, then deleted lactate dehydrogenase (ldh) to redirect carbon flux towards ethanol. Upon deletion of ldh, the adhE*(EA) ?ldh strain produced 30% more ethanol than wild type on minimal medium. The adhE*(EA) ?ldh strain retained tolerance to 5% v/v ethanol, resulting in an ethanol tolerant platform strain of C. thermocellum for future metabolic engineering efforts.
Project description:Hungateiclostridium thermocellum DSM 1313 has biotechnological potential as a whole-cell biocatalyst for ethanol production using lignocellulosic renewable sources. The full exploitation of H. thermocellum has been hampered due to the lack of simple and high-throughput genome engineering tools. Recently in our research group, a thermophilic bacterial CRISPR-Cas9-based system has been developed as a transcriptional suppression tool for regulation of gene expression. We applied ThermoCas9-based CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) to repress the H. thermocellum central metabolic lactate dehydrogenase (ldh) and phosphotransacetylase (pta) genes. The effects of repression on target genes were studied based on transcriptional expression and product formation. Single-guide RNA (sgRNA) under the control of native intergenic 16S/23S rRNA promoter from H. thermocellum directing the ThermodCas9 to the promoter region of both pta and ldh silencing transformants reduced expression up to 67% and 62% respectively. This resulted in 24% and 17% decrease in lactate and acetate production, correspondingly. Hence, the CRISPRi approach for H. thermocellum to downregulate metabolic genes can be used for remodelling of metabolic pathways without the requisite for genome engineering. These data established for the first time the feasibility of employing CRISPRi-mediated gene repression of metabolic genes in H. thermocellum DSM 1313.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Clostridium thermocellum is a gram-positive thermophile that can directly convert lignocellulosic material into biofuels. The metabolism of C. thermocellum contains many branches and redundancies which limit biofuel production, and typical genetic techniques are time-consuming. Further, the genome sequence of a genetically tractable strain C. thermocellum DSM 1313 has been recently sequenced and annotated. Therefore, developing a comprehensive, predictive, genome-scale metabolic model of DSM 1313 is desired for elucidating its complex phenotypes and facilitating model-guided metabolic engineering. RESULTS:We constructed a genome-scale metabolic model iAT601 for DSM 1313 using the KEGG database as a scaffold and an extensive literature review and bioinformatic analysis for model refinement. Next, we used several sets of experimental data to train the model, e.g., estimation of the ATP requirement for growth-associated maintenance (13.5 mmol ATP/g DCW/h) and cellulosome synthesis (57 mmol ATP/g cellulosome/h). Using our tuned model, we investigated the effect of cellodextrin lengths on cell yields, and could predict in silico experimentally observed differences in cell yield based on which cellodextrin species is assimilated. We further employed our tuned model to analyze the experimentally observed differences in fermentation profiles (i.e., the ethanol to acetate ratio) between cellobiose- and cellulose-grown cultures and infer regulatory mechanisms to explain the phenotypic differences. Finally, we used the model to design over 250 genetic modification strategies with the potential to optimize ethanol production, 6155 for hydrogen production, and 28 for isobutanol production. CONCLUSIONS:Our developed genome-scale model iAT601 is capable of accurately predicting complex cellular phenotypes under a variety of conditions and serves as a high-quality platform for model-guided strain design and metabolic engineering to produce industrial biofuels and chemicals of interest.
Project description:Background:Engineering efforts targeted at increasing ethanol by modifying the central fermentative metabolism of Clostridium thermocellum have been variably successful. Here, we aim to understand this variation by a multifaceted approach including genomic and transcriptomic analysis combined with chemostat cultivation and high solids cellulose fermentation. Three strain lineages comprising 16 strains total were examined. Two strain lineages in which genes involved in pathways leading to organic acids and/or sporulation had been knocked out resulted in four end-strains after adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE). A third strain lineage recapitulated mutations involving adhE that occurred spontaneously in some of the engineered strains. Results:Contrary to lactate dehydrogenase, deleting phosphotransacetylase (pta, acetate) negatively affected steady-state biomass concentration and caused increased extracellular levels of free amino acids and pyruvate, while no increase in ethanol was detected. Adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) improved growth and shifted elevated levels of amino acids and pyruvate towards ethanol, but not for all strain lineages. Three out of four end-strains produced ethanol at higher yield, and one did not. The occurrence of a mutation in the adhE gene, expanding its nicotinamide-cofactor compatibility, enabled two end-strains to produce more ethanol. A disruption in the hfsB hydrogenase is likely the reason why a third end-strain was able to make more ethanol. RNAseq analysis showed that the distribution of fermentation products was generally not regulated at the transcript level. At 120 g/L cellulose loadings, deletions of spo0A, ldh and pta and adaptive evolution did not negatively influence cellulose solubilization and utilization capabilities. Strains with a disruption in hfsB or a mutation in adhE produced more ethanol, isobutanol and 2,3-butanediol under these conditions and the highest isobutanol and ethanol titers reached were 5.1 and 29.9 g/L, respectively. Conclusions:Modifications in the organic acid fermentative pathways in Clostridium thermocellum caused an increase in extracellular pyruvate and free amino acids. Adaptive laboratory evolution led to improved growth, and an increase in ethanol yield and production due a mutation in adhE or a disruption in hfsB. Strains with deletions in ldh and pta pathways and subjected to ALE demonstrated undiminished cellulolytic capabilities when cultured on high cellulose loadings.
Project description:Clostridium thermocellum is a promising consolidated bioprocessing candidate organism capable of directly converting lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol. Current ethanol yields, productivities, and growth inhibitions are industrial deployment impediments for commodity fuel production by this bacterium. Redox imbalance under certain conditions and in engineered strains may contribute to incomplete substrate utilization and may direct fermentation products to undesirable overflow metabolites. Towards a better understanding of redox metabolism in C. thermocellum, we established continuous growth conditions and analyzed global gene expression during addition of two stress chemicals (methyl viologen and hydrogen peroxide) which changed the fermentation redox potential.The addition of methyl viologen to C. thermocellum DSM 1313 chemostat cultures caused an increase in ethanol and lactate yields. A lower fermenter redox potential was observed in response to methyl viologen exposure, which correlated with a decrease in cell yield and significant differential expression of 123 genes (log2 > 1.5 or log2 < -1.5, with a 5 % false discovery rate). Expression levels decreased in four main redox-active systems during methyl viologen exposure; the [NiFe] hydrogenase, sulfate transport and metabolism, ammonia assimilation (GS-GOGAT), and porphyrin/siroheme biosynthesis. Genes encoding sulfate transport and reduction and porphyrin/siroheme biosynthesis are co-located immediately downstream of a putative iscR regulatory gene, which may be a cis-regulatory element controlling expression of these genes. Other genes showing differential expression during methyl viologen exposure included transporters and transposases.The differential expression results from this study support a role for C. thermocellum genes for sulfate transport/reduction, glutamate synthase-glutamine synthetase (the GS-GOGAT system), and porphyrin biosynthesis being involved in redox metabolism and homeostasis. This global profiling study provides gene targets for future studies to elucidate the relative contributions of prospective pathways for co-factor pool re-oxidation and C. thermocellum redox homeostasis.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and Clostridium thermocellum are anaerobic thermophilic bacteria being investigated for their ability to produce biofuels from plant biomass. The bifunctional alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase gene, adhE, is present in these bacteria and has been known to be important for ethanol formation in other anaerobic alcohol producers. This study explores the inactivation of the adhE gene in C. thermocellum and T. saccharolyticum. Deletion of adhE reduced ethanol production by >95% in both T. saccharolyticum and C. thermocellum, confirming that adhE is necessary for ethanol formation in both organisms. In both adhE deletion strains, fermentation products shifted from ethanol to lactate production and resulted in lower cell density and longer time to reach maximal cell density. In T. saccharolyticum, the adhE deletion strain lost >85% of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) activity. Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity did not appear to be affected, although ALDH activity was low in cell extracts. Adding ubiquinone-0 to the ALDH assay increased activity in the T. saccharolyticum parent strain but did not increase activity in the adhE deletion strain, suggesting that ALDH activity was inhibited. In C. thermocellum, the adhE deletion strain lost >90% of ALDH and ADH activity in cell extracts. The C. thermocellum adhE deletion strain contained a point mutation in the lactate dehydrogenase gene, which appears to deregulate its activation by fructose 1,6-bisphosphate, leading to constitutive activation of lactate dehydrogenase. IMPORTANCE:Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and Clostridium thermocellum are bacteria that have been investigated for their ability to produce biofuels from plant biomass. They have been engineered to produce higher yields of ethanol, yet questions remain about the enzymes responsible for ethanol formation in these bacteria. The genomes of these bacteria encode multiple predicted aldehyde and alcohol dehydrogenases which could be responsible for alcohol formation. This study explores the inactivation of adhE, a gene encoding a bifunctional alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase. Deletion of adhE reduced ethanol production by >95% in both T. saccharolyticum and C. thermocellum, confirming that adhE is necessary for ethanol formation in both organisms. In strains without adhE, we note changes in biochemical activity, product formation, and growth.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Clostridium thermocellum produces H2 and ethanol, as well as CO2, acetate, formate, and lactate, directly from cellulosic biomass. It is therefore an attractive model for biofuel production via consolidated bioprocessing. Optimization of end-product yields and titres is crucial for making biofuel production economically feasible. Relative protein expression profiles may provide targets for metabolic engineering, while understanding changes in protein expression and metabolism in response to carbon limitation, pH, and growth phase may aid in reactor optimization. We performed shotgun 2D-HPLC-MS/MS on closed-batch cellobiose-grown exponential phase C. thermocellum cell-free extracts to determine relative protein expression profiles of core metabolic proteins involved carbohydrate utilization, energy conservation, and end-product synthesis. iTRAQ (isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation) based protein quantitation was used to determine changes in core metabolic proteins in response to growth phase. RESULTS: Relative abundance profiles revealed differential levels of putative enzymes capable of catalyzing parallel pathways. The majority of proteins involved in pyruvate catabolism and end-product synthesis were detected with high abundance, with the exception of aldehyde dehydrogenase, ferredoxin-dependent Ech-type [NiFe]-hydrogenase, and RNF-type NADH:ferredoxin oxidoreductase. Using 4-plex 2D-HPLC-MS/MS, 24% of the 144 core metabolism proteins detected demonstrated moderate changes in expression during transition from exponential to stationary phase. Notably, proteins involved in pyruvate synthesis decreased in stationary phase, whereas proteins involved in glycogen metabolism, pyruvate catabolism, and end-product synthesis increased in stationary phase. Several proteins that may directly dictate end-product synthesis patterns, including pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductases, alcohol dehydrogenases, and a putative bifurcating hydrogenase, demonstrated differential expression during transition from exponential to stationary phase. CONCLUSIONS: Relative expression profiles demonstrate which proteins are likely utilized in carbohydrate utilization and end-product synthesis and suggest that H2 synthesis occurs via bifurcating hydrogenases while ethanol synthesis is predominantly catalyzed by a bifunctional aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase. Differences in expression profiles of core metabolic proteins in response to growth phase may dictate carbon and electron flux towards energy storage compounds and end-products. Combined knowledge of relative protein expression levels and their changes in response to physiological conditions may aid in targeted metabolic engineering strategies and optimization of fermentation conditions for improvement of biofuels production.
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.