Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.4, 1585-1600, 2021
Comparative proteomic analyses reveal the metabolic aspects and biotechnological potential of nitrate assimilation in the yeast Dekkera bruxellensis
The yeast Dekkera bruxellensis is well-known for its adaptation to industrial ethanol fermentation processes, which can be further improved if nitrate is present in the substrate. To date, the assimilation of nitrate has been considered inefficient because of the apparent energy cost imposed on cell metabolism. Recent research, however, has shown that nitrate promotes growth rate and ethanol yield when oxygen is absent from the environment. Given this, the present work aimed to identify the biological mechanisms behind this physiological behaviour. Proteomic analyses comparing four contrasting growth conditions gave some clues on how nitrate could be used as primary nitrogen source by D. bruxellensis GDB 248 (URM 8346) cells in anaerobiosis. The superior anaerobic growth in nitrate seems to be a consequence of increased cell metabolism (glycolytic pathway, production of ATP and NADPH and anaplerotic reactions providing metabolic intermediates) regulated by balanced activation of TORC1 and NCR de-repression mechanisms. On the other hand, the poor growth observed in aerobiosis is likely due to an oxidative stress triggered by nitrate when oxygen is present. These results represent a milestone regarding the knowledge about nitrate metabolism and might be explored for future use of D. bruxellensis as an industrial yeast.