Since Saccharomyces cerevisiae lacks the cellulase complexes that hydrolyze cellulosic materials, which are abundant in the world, two types of hydrolytic enzymes involved in the degradation of cellulosic materials to glucose were genetically co-immobilized on its cell surface for direct utilization of cellulosic materials, one of the final goals of our studies. The genes encoding FI-carboxymethylcellulase (CMCase) and β-glucosidase from the fungus Aspergillus aculeatus were individually fused with the gene encoding the C-terminal half (320 amino acid residues from the C terminus) of yeast α-agglutinin and introduced into S. cerevisiae. The delivery of CMCase and β-glucosidase to the cell surface was carried out by the secretion signal sequence of the native signal sequence of CMCase and by the secretion signal sequence of glucoamylase from Rhizopus oryzae for β-glucosidase, respectively. The genes were expressed by the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase promoter from S. cerevisiae. The CMCase and β-glucosidase activities were detected in the cell pellet fraction, not in the culture supernatant. The display of CMCase and β-glucosidase proteins on the cell surface was confirmed by immunofluorescence microscopy. The cells displaying these cellulases could grow on cellobiose or water-soluble cellooligosaccharides as the sole carbon source. The degradation and assimilation of cellooligosaccharides were confirmed by thin-layer chromatography. This result showed that the cell surface-engineered yeast with these enzymes can be endowed with the ability to assimilate cellooligosaccharides. This is the first step in the assimilation of cellulosic materials by S. cerevisiae expressing heterologous cellulase genes
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