Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.104, No.13, 5845-5859, 2020
Optimization of Yarrowia lipolytica-based consolidated biocatalyst through synthetic biology approach: transcription units and signal peptides shuffling
Nowadays considerable effort is being pursued towards development of consolidated microbial biocatalysts that will be able to utilize complex, non-pretreated substrates and produce valuable compounds. In such engineered microbes, synthesis of extracellular hydrolases may be fine-tuned by different approaches, like strength of promoter, type of secretory tag, and gene copy number. In this study, we investigated if organization of a multi-element expression cassette impacts the resultant Yarrowia lipolytica transformants' phenotype, presuming that different variants of the cassette are composed of the same regulatory elements and encode the same mature proteins. To this end, Y. lipolytica cells were transformed with expression cassettes bearing a pair of genes encoding exactly the same mature amylases, but fused to four different signal peptides (SP), and located interchangeably in either first or second position of a synthetic DNA construction. The resultant strains were tested for growth on raw and pretreated complex substrates of different plant origin for comprehensive examination of the strains' acquired characteristics. Optimized strain was tested in batch bioreactor cultivations for growth and lipids accumulation. Based on the conducted research, we concluded that the positional order of transcription units (TU) and the type of exploited SP affect final characteristics of the resultant consolidated biocatalyst strains, and thus could be considered as additional factors to be evaluated upon consolidated biocatalysts optimization.