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1.  Regulation of carotenogenesis in the red yeast Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous: the role of the transcriptional co-repressor complex Cyc8–Tup1 involved in catabolic repression 
The yeast Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous produces carotenoids of commercial interest, including astaxanthin and β-carotene. Although carotenogenesis in this yeast and the expression profiles of the genes controlling this pathway are known, the mechanisms regulating this process remain poorly understood. Several studies have demonstrated that glucose represses carotenogenesis in X. dendrorhous, suggesting that this pathway could be regulated by catabolic repression. Catabolic repression is a highly conserved regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes and has been widely studied in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Glucose-dependent repression is mainly observed at the transcriptional level and depends on the DNA-binding regulator Mig1, which recruits the co-repressor complex Cyc8–Tup1, which then represses the expression of target genes. In this work, we studied the regulation of carotenogenesis by catabolic repression in X. dendrorhous, focusing on the role of the co-repressor complex Cyc8–Tup1.
The X. dendrorhous CYC8 and TUP1 genes were identified, and their functions were demonstrated by heterologous complementation in S. cerevisiae. In addition, cyc8 − and tup1 − mutant strains of X. dendrorhous were obtained, and both mutations were shown to prevent the glucose-dependent repression of carotenogenesis in X. dendrorhous, increasing the carotenoid production in both mutant strains. Furthermore, the effects of glucose on the transcript levels of genes involved in carotenogenesis differed between the mutant strains and wild-type X. dendrorhous, particularly for genes involved in the synthesis of carotenoid precursors, such as HMGR, idi and FPS. Additionally, transcriptomic analyses showed that cyc8 − and tup1 − mutations affected the expression of over 250 genes in X. dendrorhous.
The CYC8 and TUP1 genes are functional in X. dendrorhous, and their gene products are involved in catabolic repression and carotenogenesis regulation. This study presents the first report involving the participation of Cyc8 and Tup1 in carotenogenesis regulation in yeast.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12934-016-0597-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5109733  PMID: 27842591
Catabolic repression; Cyc8–Tup1 co-repressor complex; Carotenogenesis; Transcriptional regulation; Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous
2.  The Involvement of Mig1 from Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous in Catabolic Repression: An Active Mechanism Contributing to the Regulation of Carotenoid Production 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(9):e0162838.
The red yeast X. dendrorhous is one of the few natural sources of astaxanthin, a carotenoid used in aquaculture for salmonid fish pigmentation and in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries for its antioxidant properties. Genetic control of carotenogenesis is well characterized in this yeast; however, little is known about the regulation of the carotenogenesis process. Several lines of evidence have suggested that carotenogenesis is regulated by catabolic repression, and the aim of this work was to identify and functionally characterize the X. dendrorhous MIG1 gene encoding the catabolic repressor Mig1, which mediates transcriptional glucose-dependent repression in other yeasts and fungi. The identified gene encodes a protein of 863 amino acids that demonstrates the characteristic conserved features of Mig1 proteins, and binds in vitro to DNA fragments containing Mig1 boxes. Gene functionality was demonstrated by heterologous complementation in a S. cerevisiae mig1- strain; several aspects of catabolic repression were restored by the X. dendrorhous MIG1 gene. Additionally, a X. dendrorhous mig1- mutant was constructed and demonstrated a higher carotenoid content than the wild-type strain. Most important, the mig1- mutation alleviated the glucose-mediated repression of carotenogenesis in X. dendrorhous: the addition of glucose to mig1- and wild-type cultures promoted the growth of both strains, but carotenoid synthesis was observed only in the mutant strain. Transcriptomic and RT-qPCR analyses revealed that several genes were differentially expressed between X. dendrorhous mig1- and the wild-type strain when cultured with glucose as the sole carbon source. The results obtained in this study demonstrate that catabolic repression in X. dendrorhous is an active process in which the identified MIG1 gene product plays a central role in the regulation of several biological processes, including carotenogenesis.
PMCID: PMC5021340  PMID: 27622474
3.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the fructofuranosidase from Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous  
The invertase from X. dendrorhous has been purified, deglycosylated and crystallized and diffraction data have been collected to 2.3 Å resolution.
Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous invertase is an extracellular enzyme that releases β-fructose from the nonreducing termini of various β-d-fructofuranoside substrates. Its ability to produce neokestose by transglycosylation makes this enzyme an interesting research target for applications in industrial biotechnology. The native enzyme, which is highly glycosylated, failed to crystallize. Therefore, it was submitted to EndoH deglycosylating treatment and crystals were grown by vapour-diffusion methods. The crystals belonged to space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 75.29, b = 204.93, c = 146.25 Å. Several diffraction data sets were collected using a synchrotron source. Self-rotation function and gel-filtration experiments suggested that the enzyme is a dimer with twofold symmetry.
PMCID: PMC3001643  PMID: 21045290
yeast invertase; β-fructofuranosidases; glycoside hydrolase family 32
4.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the fructofuranosidase from Schwanniomyces occidentalis  
The invertase from Schwanniomyces occidentalis has been expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, purified and crystallized. The wild-type enzyme was also purified and crystallized and diffraction data were collected to 2.9 Å resolution.
Schwanniomyces occidentalis invertase is an extracellular enzyme that releases β-fructose from the nonreducing termini of various β-d-fructofuranoside substrates. Its ability to produce 6-kestose by transglycosylation makes this enzyme an interesting research target for applications in industrial biotechnology. The enzyme has been expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Recombinant and wild-type forms, which showed different glycosylation patterns, were crystallized by vapour-diffusion methods. Although crystallization trials were conducted on both forms of the protein, crystals suitable for X-ray crystallographic analyses were only obtained from the wild-type enzyme. The crystals belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 105.78, b = 119.49, c = 137.68 Å. A diffraction data set was collected using a synchrotron source. Self-rotation function and sedimentation-velocity experiments suggested that the enzyme was dimeric with twofold symmetry.
PMCID: PMC2777049  PMID: 19923741
yeast invertases; fructofuranosidases; glycoside hydrolase family 32
5.  New Insights into the Fructosyltransferase Activity of Schwanniomyces occidentalis β-Fructofuranosidase, Emerging from Nonconventional Codon Usage and Directed Mutation▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2010;76(22):7491-7499.
Schwanniomyces occidentalis β-fructofuranosidase (Ffase) releases β-fructose from the nonreducing ends of β-fructans and synthesizes 6-kestose and 1-kestose, both considered prebiotic fructooligosaccharides. Analyzing the amino acid sequence of this protein revealed that it includes a serine instead of a leucine at position 196, caused by a nonuniversal decoding of the unique mRNA leucine codon CUG. Substitution of leucine for Ser196 dramatically lowers the apparent catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km) of the enzyme (approximately 1,000-fold), but surprisingly, its transferase activity is enhanced by almost 3-fold, as is the enzymes' specificity for 6-kestose synthesis. The influence of 6 Ffase residues on enzyme activity was analyzed on both the Leu196/Ser196 backgrounds (Trp47, Asn49, Asn52, Ser111, Lys181, and Pro232). Only N52S and P232V mutations improved the transferase activity of the wild-type enzyme (about 1.6-fold). Modeling the transfructosylation products into the active site, in combination with an analysis of the kinetics and transfructosylation reactions, defined a new region responsible for the transferase specificity of the enzyme.
PMCID: PMC2976189  PMID: 20851958
6.  Molecular and Biochemical Characterization of a β-Fructofuranosidase from Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous▿ †  
An extracellular β-fructofuranosidase from the yeast Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous was characterized biochemically, molecularly, and phylogenetically. This enzyme is a glycoprotein with an estimated molecular mass of 160 kDa, of which the N-linked carbohydrate accounts for 60% of the total mass. It displays optimum activity at pH 5.0 to 6.5, and its thermophilicity (with maximum activity at 65 to 70°C) and thermostability (with a T50 in the range 66 to 71°C) is higher than that exhibited by most yeast invertases. The enzyme was able to hydrolyze fructosyl-β-(2→1)-linked carbohydrates such as sucrose, 1-kestose, or nystose, although its catalytic efficiency, defined by the kcat/Km ratio, indicates that it hydrolyzes sucrose approximately 4.2 times more efficiently than 1-kestose. Unlike other microbial β-fructofuranosidases, the enzyme from X. dendrorhous produces neokestose as the main transglycosylation product, a potentially novel bifidogenic trisaccharide. Using a 41% (wt/vol) sucrose solution, the maximum fructooligosaccharide concentration reached was 65.9 g liter−1. In addition, we isolated and sequenced the X. dendrorhous β-fructofuranosidase gene (Xd-INV), showing that it encodes a putative mature polypeptide of 595 amino acids and that it shares significant identity with other fungal, yeast, and plant β-fructofuranosidases, all members of family 32 of the glycosyl-hydrolases. We demonstrate that the Xd-INV could functionally complement the suc2 mutation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and, finally, a structural model of the new enzyme based on the homologous invertase from Arabidopsis thaliana has also been obtained.
PMCID: PMC2643559  PMID: 19088319

Results 1-6 (6)