776 research outputs found

    Yeast methylotrophy: metabolism, gene regulation and peroxisome homeostasis.

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    Eukaryotic methylotrophs, which are able to obtain all the carbon and energy needed for growth from methanol, are restricted to a limited number of yeast species. When these yeasts are grown on methanol as the sole carbon and energy source, the enzymes involved in methanol metabolism are strongly induced, and the membrane-bound organelles, peroxisomes, which contain key enzymes of methanol metabolism, proliferate massively. These features have made methylotrophic yeasts attractive hosts for the production of heterologous proteins and useful model organisms for the study of peroxisome biogenesis and degradation. In this paper, we describe recent insights into the molecular basis of yeast methylotrophy

    Hansenula polymorpha: An attractive model organism for molecular studies of peroxisome biogenesis and function

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    In wild-type Hansenula polymorpha the proliferation of peroxisomes is induced by various unconventional carbon- and nitrogen sources. Highest induction levels, up to 80% of the cytoplasmic volume, are observed in cells grown in methanol-limited chemostat cultures. Based on our accumulated experience, we are now able to precisely adjust both the level of peroxisome induction as well as their protein composition by specific adaptations in growth conditions. During the last few years a series of peroxisome-deficient (per) mutants of H. polymorpha have been isolated and characterized. Phenotypically these mutants are characterized by the fact that they are not able to grow on methanol. Three mutant phenotypes were defined on the basis of morphological criteria, namely: (a) mutants completely lacking peroxisomes (Per-; 13 complementation groups); (b) mutants containing few small peroxisomes which are partly impaired in the peroxisomal import of matrix proteins (Pim-; five complementation groups); and (c) mutants with aberrations in the peroxisomal substructure (Pss-; two complementation groups). In addition, several conditional Per-, Pim- and Pss- mutants have been obtained. In all cases the mutant phenotype was shown to be caused by a recessive mutation in one gene. However, we observed that different mutations in one gene may cause different morphological mutant phenotypes. A detailed genetic analysis revealed that several PER genes, essential for peroxisome biogenesis, are tightly linked and organized in a hierarchical fashion. The use of both constitual and conditional per mutants in current and future studies of the molecular mechanisms controlling peroxisome biogenesis and function is discussed.

    A comparative study of peroxisomal structures in Hansenula polymorpha pex mutants

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    In a recent study, we performed a systematic genome analysis for the conservation of genes involved in peroxisome biogenesis (PEX genes) in various fungi. We have now performed a systematic study of the morphology of peroxisome remnants (‘ghosts’) in Hansenula polymorpha pex mutants (pex1–pex20) and the level of peroxins and matrix proteins in these strains. To this end, all available H. polymorpha pex strains were grown under identical cultivation conditions in glucose-limited chemostat cultures and analyzed in detail. The H. polymorpha pex mutants could be categorized into four distinct groups, namely pex mutants containing: (1) virtually normal peroxisomal structures (pex7, pex17, pex20); (2) small peroxisomal membrane structures with a distinct lumen (pex2, pex4, pex5, pex10, pex12, pex14); (3) multilayered membrane structures lacking apparent matrix protein content (pex1, pex6, pex8, pex13); and (4) no peroxisomal structures (pex3, pex19).

    A Catalytic Role of XoxF1 as La3+-Dependent Methanol Dehydrogenase in Methylobacterium extorquens Strain AM1

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    In the methylotrophic bacterium Methylobacterium extorquens strain AM1, MxaF, a Ca2+-dependent methanol dehydrogenase (MDH), is the main enzyme catalyzing methanol oxidation during growth on methanol. The genome of strain AM1 contains another MDH gene homologue, xoxF1, whose function in methanol metabolism has remained unclear. In this work, we show that XoxF1 also functions as an MDH and is La3+-dependent. Despite the absence of Ca2+ in the medium strain AM1 was able to grow on methanol in the presence of La3+. Addition of La3+ increased MDH activity but the addition had no effect on mxaF or xoxF1 expression level. We purified MDH from strain AM1 grown on methanol in the presence of La3+, and its N-terminal amino acid sequence corresponded to that of XoxF1. The enzyme contained La3+ as a cofactor. The ΔmxaF mutant strain could not grow on methanol in the presence of Ca2+, but was able to grow after supplementation with La3+. Taken together, these results show that XoxF1 participates in methanol metabolism as a La3+-dependent MDH in strain AM1

    Synthetic methylotrophy: Engineering methanol metabolism in a nonnative host

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    Methylotrophy is the ability of microorganisms to utilize one carbon compounds such as methane and methanol for growth and energy generation. The recent discovery of abundant natural gas reserves has prompted considerable interest in utilizing these compounds as substrates or co-substrates in industrial fermentations of chemicals and fuels. Increased biomass and product yields are expected from these compounds since both are more reduced than lignocellulosic sugars. Native methylotrophic microorganisms are poor industrial host organisms since many are strict aerobes, produce few metabolites and lack genetic engineering tools. Therefore, the development of synthetic methylotrophy in nonnative host organisms is of considerable interest. Here, the development of Escherichia coli as a platform microorganism for methanol metabolism is presented. Incorporation of native methylotrophic enzymes confers methylotrophic properties to E. coli, allowing the nonnative metabolism of methanol into biomass and metabolites. For example, as shown in Figure 1, methanol supplementation provides a 50% improvement in biomass yield on yeast extract in engineered E. coli. Further discussion will be given on how to overcome the challenges involved in synthetic methylotrophy, including unfavorable methanol oxidation, methanol toxicity, carbon conservation and regulatory limitations. Specifically, a high-throughput fluorescence activated cell sorting assay was developed to identify engineered methanol dehydrogenase mutants exhibiting improved methanol oxidation characteristics. Separately, chemical mutagenesis and directed evolution led to the isolation of a mutant methylotrophic E. coli strain exhibiting improved methanol tolerance. The importance of the pentose phosphate pathway during nonnative methanol metabolism in E. coli and its regulatory tuning for optimal methanol assimilation will also be discussed. Finally, data demonstrating the use of methanol as a substrate for cell growth, energy generation and metabolite production in E. coli will be presented. This work was supported by the US DOE ARPA-E agency through contract no. DE-AR0000432. Figure Please click Additional Files below to see the full abstract

    Reprogramming Hansenula polymorpha for penicillin production: expression of the Penicillium chrysogenum pcl gene

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    We aim to introduce the penicillin biosynthetic pathway into the methylotrophic yeast Hansenula polymorpha. To allow simultaneous expression of the multiple genes of the penicillin biosynthetic pathway, additional markers were required. To this end, we constructed a novel host–vector system based on methionine auxotrophy and the H. polymorpha MET6 gene, which encodes a putative cystathionine β-lyase. With this new host–vector system, the Penicillium chrysogenum pcl gene, encoding peroxisomal phenylacetyl-CoA ligase (PCL), was expressed in H. polymorpha. PCL has a potential C-terminal peroxisomal targeting signal type 1 (PTS1). Our data demonstrate that a green fluorescent protein–PCL fusion protein has a dual location in the heterologous host in the cytosol and in peroxisomes. Mutation of the PTS1 of PCL (SKI-COOH) to SKL-COOH restored sorting of the fusion protein to peroxisomes only. Additionally, we demonstrate that peroxisomal PCL–SKL produced in H. polymorpha displays normal enzymatic activities.

    Transcriptional Profiling of Protein Expression Related Genes of Pichia pastoris under Simulated Microgravity

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    The physiological responses and transcription profiling of Pichia pastoris GS115 to simulated microgravity (SMG) were substantially changed compared with normal gravity (NG) control. We previously reported that the recombinant P. pastoris grew faster under SMG than NG during methanol induction phase and the efficiencies of recombinant enzyme production and secretion were enhanced under SMG, which was considered as the consequence of changed transcriptional levels of some key genes. In this work, transcriptiome profiling of P. pastoris cultured under SMG and NG conditions at exponential and stationary phases were determined using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Four categories of 141 genes function as methanol utilization, protein chaperone, RNA polymerase and protein transportation or secretion classified according to Gene Ontology (GO) were chosen to be analyzed on the basis of NGS results. And 80 significantly changed genes were weighted and estimated by Cluster 3.0. It was found that most genes of methanol metabolism (85% of 20 genes) and protein transportation or secretion (82.2% of 45 genes) were significantly up-regulated under SMG. Furthermore the quantity and fold change of up-regulated genes in exponential phase of each category were higher than those of stationary phase. The results indicate that the up-regulated genes of methanol metabolism and protein transportation or secretion mainly contribute to enhanced production and secretion of the recombinant protein under SMG

    Adaptation of Hansenula polymorpha to methanol: a transcriptome analysis

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    Background: Methylotrophic yeast species (e.g. Hansenula polymorpha, Pichia pastoris) can grow on methanol as sole source of carbon and energy. These organisms are important cell factories for the production of recombinant proteins, but are also used in fundamental research as model organisms to study peroxisome biology. During exponential growth on glucose, cells of H. polymorpha typically contain a single, small peroxisome that is redundant for growth while on methanol multiple, enlarged peroxisomes are present. These organelles are crucial to support growth on methanol, as they contain key enzymes of methanol metabolism. In this study, changes in the transcriptional profiles during adaptation of H. polymorpha cells from glucose- to methanol-containing media were investigated using DNA-microarray analyses. Results: Two hours after the shift of cells from glucose to methanol nearly 20% (1184 genes) of the approximately 6000 annotated H. polymorpha genes were significantly upregulated with at least a two-fold differential expression. Highest upregulation (> 300-fold) was observed for the genes encoding the transcription factor Mpp1 and formate dehydrogenase, an enzyme of the methanol dissimilation pathway. Upregulated genes also included genes encoding other enzymes of methanol metabolism as well as of peroxisomal b-oxidation. A moderate increase in transcriptional levels (up to 4-fold) was observed for several PEX genes, which are involved in peroxisome biogenesis. Only PEX11 and PEX32 were higher upregulated. In addition, an increase was observed in expression of the several ATG genes, which encode proteins involved in autophagy and autophagy processes. The strongest upregulation was observed for ATG8 and ATG11. Approximately 20% (1246 genes) of the genes were downregulated. These included glycolytic genes as well as genes involved in transcription and translation. Conclusion: Transcriptional profiling of H. polymorpha cells shifted from glucose to methanol showed the expected downregulation of glycolytic genes together with upregulation of the methanol utilisation pathway. This serves as a confirmation and validation of the array data obtained. Consistent with this, also various PEX genes were upregulated. The strong upregulation of ATG genes is possibly due to induction of autophagy processes related to remodeling of the cell architecture required to support growth on methanol. These processes may also be responsible for the enhanced peroxisomal b oxidation, as autophagy leads to recycling of membrane lipids. The prominent downregulation of transcription and translation may be explained by the reduced growth rate on methanol (td glucose 1 h vs td methanol 4.5 h).Applied Science

    Physiological, genomic, and sulfur isotopic characterization of methanol metabolism by Desulfovibrio carbinolicus

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    Methanol is often considered as a non-competitive substrate for methanogenic archaea, but an increasing number of sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRMs) have been reported to be capable of respiring with methanol as an electron donor. A better understanding of the fate of methanol in natural or artificial anaerobic systems thus requires knowledge of the methanol dissimilation by SRMs. In this study, we describe the growth kinetics and sulfur isotope effects of Desulfovibrio carbinolicus, a methanol-oxidizing sulfate-reducing deltaproteobacterium, together with its genome sequence and annotation. D. carbinolicus can grow with a series of alcohols from methanol to butanol. Compared to longer-chain alcohols, however, specific growth and respiration rates decrease by several fold with methanol as an electron donor. Larger sulfur isotope fractionation accompanies slowed growth kinetics, indicating low chemical potential at terminal reductive steps of respiration. In a medium containing both ethanol and methanol, D. carbinolicus does not consume methanol even after the cessation of growth on ethanol. Among the two known methanol dissimilatory systems, the genome of D. carbinolicus contains the genes coding for alcohol dehydrogenase but lacks enzymes analogous to methanol methyltransferase. We analyzed the genomes of 52 additional species of sulfate-reducing bacteria that have been tested for methanol oxidation. There is no apparent relationship between phylogeny and methanol metabolizing capacity, but most gram-negative methanol oxidizers grow poorly, and none carry homologs for methyltransferase (mtaB). Although the amount of available data is limited, it is notable that more than half of the known gram-positive methanol oxidizers have both enzymatic systems, showing enhanced growth relative to the SRMs containing only alcohol dehydrogenase genes. Thus, physiological, genomic, and sulfur isotopic results suggest that D. carbinolicus and close relatives have the ability to metabolize methanol but likely play a limited role in methanol degradation in most natural environments
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