65 research outputs found

    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.

    A Peroxisomal Lon Protease and Peroxisome Degradation by Autophagy Play Key Roles in Vitality of Hansenula polymorpha Cells

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    In eukaryote cells various mechanisms exist that are responsible for the removal of non-functional proteins. Here we show that in the yeast Hansenula polymorpha (H. polymorpha) a peroxisomal Lon protease, Pln, plays a role in degradation of unfolded and non-assembled peroxisomal matrix proteins. In addition, we demonstrate that whole peroxisomes are constitutively degraded by autophagy during normal vegetative growth of WT cells. Deletion of both H. polymorpha PLN and ATG1, required for autophagy, resulted in a significant increase in peroxisome numbers, paralleled by a decrease in cell viability relative to WT cells. Also, in these cells and in cells of PLN and ATG1 single deletion strains, the intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species had increased relative to WT controls. The enhanced generation of reactive oxygen species may be related to an uneven distribution of peroxisomal catalase activities in the mutant cells, as demonstrated by cytochemistry. We speculate that in the absence of HpPln or autophagy unfolded and non-assembled peroxisomal matrix proteins accumulate, which can form aggregates and lead to an imbalance in hydrogen peroxide production and degradation in some of the organelles.

    ATG genes involved in non-selective autophagy are conserved from yeast to man, but the selective Cvt and pexophagy pathways also require organism-specific genes

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    ATG genes encode proteins that are required for macroautophagy, the Cvt pathway and/or pexophagy. Using the published Atg protein sequences, we have screened protein and DNA databases to identify putative functional homologs (orthologs) in 21 fungal species (yeast and filamentous fungi) of which the genome sequences were available. For comparison with Atg proteins in higher eukaryotes, also an analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana and Homo sapiens databases was included. This analysis demonstrated that Atg proteins required for non-selective macroautophagy are conserved from yeast to man, stressing the importance of this process in cell survival and viability. The A. thaliana and human genomes encode multiple proteins highly similar to specific fungal Atg proteins (paralogs), possibly representing cell type-specific isoforms. The Atg proteins specifically involved in the Cvt pathway and/or pexophagy showed poor conservation, and were generally not present in A. thaliana and man. Furthermore, Atg19, the receptor of Cvt cargo, was only detected in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nevertheless, Atg11, a protein that links receptor-bound cargo (peroxisomes, the Cvt complex) to the autophagic machinery was identified in all yeast species and filamentous fungi under study. This suggests that in fungi an organism-specific form of selective autophagy may occur, for which specialized Atg proteins have evolved

    Overproduction of Pex5p stimulates import of alcohol oxidase and dihydroxyacetone synthase in a Hansenula polymorpha pex14 null mutant

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    Hansenula polymorpha Delta pex14 cells are affected in peroxisomal matrix protein import and lack normal peroxisomes. Instead, they contain peroxisomal membrane remnants, which harbor a very small amount of the major peroxisomal matrix enzymes alcohol oxidase (AO) and dihydroxyacetone synthase (DHAS). The bulk of these proteins is, however, mislocated in the cytosol, Here, we show that in Delta pex14 cells overproduction of the PTS1 receptor, Pex5p, leads to enhanced import of the PTS1 proteins AO and DHAS but not of the PTS2 protein amine oxidase. The import of the PTS1 protein catalase (CAT) was not stimulated by Pex5p overproduction. The difference in import behavior of AO and CAT was not related to their PTS1, since green fluorescent protein fused to the PTS1 of either AO or CAT were both not imported in Delta pex14 cells overproducing Pex5p. When produced in a wild type control strain, both proteins were normally imported into peroxisomes. In Delta pex14 cells overproducing Pex5p, Pex5P had a dual location and was localized in the cytosol and bound to the outer surface of the peroxisomal membrane. Our results indicate that binding of Pex5p to the peroxisomal membrane and import of certain PTS1 proteins can proceed in the absence of Pex14p

    Obstruction of polyubiquitination affects PTS1 peroxisomal matrix protein import

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    AbstractPex4p is an ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme that functions at a late stage of peroxisomal matrix protein import. Here we show that in the methylotrophic yeast Hansenula polymorpha production of a mutant form of ubiquitin (UbK48R) has a dramatic effect on PTS1 matrix protein import. This effect was not observed in cells lacking Pex4p, in which the peroxisome biogenesis defect was largely suppressed. These findings provide the first indication that the function of Pex4p in matrix protein import involves polyubiquitination. We also demonstrate that the production of UbK48R in H. polymorpha results in enhanced Pex5p degradation. A similar observation was made in cells in which the PEX4 gene was deleted. We demonstrate that in both strains Pex5p degradation was due to ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by the proteasome. This process appeared to be dependent on a conserved lysine residue in the N-terminus of Pex5p (Lys21) and was prevented in a Pex5pK21R mutant. We speculate that the degradation of Pex5p by the proteasome is important to remove receptor molecules that are stuck at a late stage of the Pex5p-mediated protein import pathway

    The peroxisomal membrane protein Pex14p of Hansenula polymorpha is phosphorylated in vivo

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    Hansenula polymorpha Pex14p (HpPex14p) is a component of the peroxisomal membrane essential for peroxisome biogenesis. Here, we show that HpPex14p is phosphorylated in vivo. In wild-type H. polymorpha cells, grown in the presence of [32P]orthophosphate, the 32P label was incorporated into HpPex14p. Labelled HpPex14p was induced after a shift of cells to methanol-containing media and rapidly disappeared after a shift to glucose medium, which induces specific peroxisome degradation. Alkaline phosphatase treatment of labelled HpPex14p resulted in the release of 32P and a minor shift of the HpPex14p band on Western blots. Phosphoamino acid analysis by two dimensional silica gel thin layer chromatography suggested that the major phosphoamino acid in phosphorylated HpPex14p was acid-labile.

    Proteins involved in microbody biogenesis and degradation in Aspergillus nidulans

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    Fungal microbodies (peroxisomes) are inducible organelles that proliferate in response to nutritional cues. Proteins involved in peroxisome biogenesis/proliferation are designated peroxins and are encoded by PEX genes. An autophagy-related process, termed pexophagy, is responsible for the selective removal of peroxisomes from the cell. Several genes involved in pexophagy are also required for autophagy and are collectively known as ATG genes. We have re-analysed the Aspergillus nidulans genome for the presence of PEX and ATG genes and have identified a number of previously missed genes. Also, we manually determined the correct intron positions in each identified gene. The data show that in A. nidulans and related fungi the basic set of genes involved in peroxisome biogenesis or degradation are conserved. However, both processes have features that more closely resemble organelle formation/degradation in mammals rather than yeast. Thus, filamentous fungi like A. nidulans are ideal model systems for peroxisome homeostasis in man.

    Characterization of the Hansenula polymorpha PUR7 gene and its use as selectable marker for targeted chromosomal integration

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    The Hansenula polymorpha genes encoding the putative functional homologs of the enzymes involved in the seventh and eighth step in purine biosynthesis, HpPUR7 and HpPUR8, were cloned and sequenced. An overexpression vector designated pHIPA4 was constructed, which contains the HpPUR7 gene as selectable marker and allows expression of genes of interest via the strong, inducible alcohol oxidase promoter. An ade11 auxotrophic mutant that is affected in the activity of the HpPUR7 gene product was used to construct strain NCYC495 ade11.1 leu1.1 ura3. This strain grew on methanol at wild-type rates (doubling time of approximately 4 h) and is suitable for independent introduction of four expression cassettes, each using one of the markers for selection, in addition to the zeocin resistance marker. It was subsequently used as a host for overproduction of two endogenous peroxisomal matrix proteins, amine oxidase and catalase. Efficient site-specific integration of pHIPA4 and overproduction of amine oxidase and catalase is demonstrated. The expression cassette appeared to be pre-eminently suited to mediate moderate protein production levels. The advantages of pHIPA4 and the new triple auxotrophic strain in relation to the use of H. polymorpha as a versatile cell factory or as a model organism for fundamental studies on the principles of peroxisome homeostasis is discussed.