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1.  A novel fusion partner for enhanced secretion of recombinant proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology  2016;100(24):10453-10461.
Expressing proteins with fusion partners improves yield and simplifies the purification process. We developed a novel fusion partner to improve the secretion of heterologous proteins that are otherwise poorly excreted in yeast. The VOA1 (YGR106C) gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae encodes a subunit of vacuolar ATPase. We found that C-terminally truncated Voa1p was highly secreted into the culture medium, even when fused with rarely secreted heterologous proteins such as human interleukin-2 (hIL-2). Deletion mapping of C-terminally truncated Voa1p, identified a hydrophilic 28-amino acid peptide (HL peptide) that was responsible for the enhanced secretion of target protein. A purification tag and a protease cleavage site were added to use HL peptide as a multi-purpose fusion partner. The utility of this system was tested via the expression and purification of various heterologous proteins. In many cases, the yield of target proteins fused with the peptide was significantly increased, and fusion proteins could be directly purified with affinity chromatography. The fusion partner was removed by in vitro processing, and intact proteins were purified by re-application of samples to affinity chromatography.
PMCID: PMC5119842  PMID: 27412460
Saccharomyces cerevisiae; VOA1; Fusion partner; Purification
2.  An Efficient Genome-Wide Fusion Partner Screening System for Secretion of Recombinant Proteins in Yeast 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:12229.
To produce rarely secreted recombinant proteins in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we developed a novel genome-wide optimal translational fusion partner (TFP) screening system that involves recruitment of an optimal secretion signal and fusion partner. A TFP library was constructed from a genomic and truncated cDNA library by using the invertase-based signal sequence trap technique. The efficiency of the system was demonstrated using two rarely secreted proteins, human interleukin (hIL)-2 and hIL-32. Optimal TFPs for secretion of hIL-2 and hIL-32 were easily selected, yielding secretion of these proteins up to hundreds of mg/L. Moreover, numerous uncovered yeast secretion signals and fusion partners were identified, leading to efficient secretion of various recombinant proteins. Selected TFPs were found to be useful for the hypersecretion of other recombinant proteins at yields of up to several g/L. This screening technique could provide new methods for the production of various types of difficult-to-express proteins.
PMCID: PMC4508530  PMID: 26195161
3.  Efficient Library Construction by In Vivo Recombination with a Telomere-Originated Autonomously Replicating Sequence of Hansenula polymorpha 
A high frequency of transformation and an equal gene dosage between transformants are generally required for activity-based selection of mutants from a library obtained by directed evolution. An efficient library construction method was developed by using in vivo recombination in Hansenula polymorpha. Various linear sets of vectors and insert fragments were transformed and analyzed to optimize the in vivo recombination system. A telomere-originated autonomously replicating sequence (ARS) of H. polymorpha, reported as a recombination hot spot, facilitates in vivo recombination between the linear transforming DNA and chromosomes. In vivo recombination of two linear DNA fragments containing the telomeric ARS drastically increases the transforming frequency, up to 10-fold, compared to the frequency of circular plasmids. Direct integration of the one-end-recombined linear fragment into chromosomes produced transformants with single-copy gene integration, resulting in the same expression level for the reporter protein between transformants. This newly developed in vivo recombination system of H. polymorpha provides a suitable library for activity-based selection of mutants after directed evolution.
PMCID: PMC169078  PMID: 12902228
4.  Integrative Transformation System for the Metabolic Engineering of the Sphingoid Base-Producing Yeast Pichia ciferrii 
We have developed an integrative transformation system for metabolic engineering of the tetraacetyl phytosphingosine (TAPS)-secreting yeast Pichia ciferrii. The system uses (i) a mutagenized ribosomal protein L41 gene of P. ciferrii as a dominant selection marker that confer resistance to the antibiotic cycloheximide and (ii) a ribosomal DNA (rDNA) fragment of P. ciferrii as a target for multicopy gene integration into the chromosome. A locus within the nontranscribed region located between 5S and 26S rDNAs was selected as the integration site. A maximum frequency of integrative transformation of approximately 1,350 transformants/μg of DNA was observed. To improve the de novo synthesis of sphingolipid, the LCB2 gene, encoding a subunit of serine palmitoyltransferase, which catalyzes the first committed step of sphingolipid synthesis, was cloned from P. ciferrii and overexpressed under the control of the P. ciferrii glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase promoter. After transformation of an LCB2 gene expression cassette, several transformants that contained approximately five to seven copies of transforming DNA in the chromosome and exhibited about 50-fold increase in LCB2 mRNA relative to the wild type were identified. These transformants were observed to produce approximately two times more TAPS than the wild type.
PMCID: PMC143681  PMID: 12570999
5.  Metabolic Engineering of Probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii 
Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic yeast that has been used for promoting gut health as well as preventing diarrheal diseases. This yeast not only exhibits beneficial phenotypes for gut health but also can stay longer in the gut than Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Therefore, S. boulardii is an attractive host for metabolic engineering to produce biomolecules of interest in the gut. However, the lack of auxotrophic strains with defined genetic backgrounds has hampered the use of this strain for metabolic engineering. Here, we report the development of well-defined auxotrophic mutants (leu2, ura3, his3, and trp1) through clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas9-based genome editing. The resulting auxotrophic mutants can be used as a host for introducing various genetic perturbations, such as overexpression or deletion of a target gene, using existing genetic tools for S. cerevisiae. We demonstrated the overexpression of a heterologous gene (lacZ), the correct localization of a target protein (red fluorescent protein) into mitochondria by using a protein localization signal, and the introduction of a heterologous metabolic pathway (xylose-assimilating pathway) in the genome of S. boulardii. We further demonstrated that human lysozyme, which is beneficial for human gut health, could be secreted by S. boulardii. Our results suggest that more sophisticated genetic perturbations to improve S. boulardii can be performed without using a drug resistance marker, which is a prerequisite for in vivo applications using engineered S. boulardii.
PMCID: PMC4959471  PMID: 26850302
6.  Genome Sequence of the Thermotolerant Yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus var. marxianus KCTC 17555 
Eukaryotic Cell  2012;11(12):1584-1585.
Kluyveromyces marxianus is a thermotolerant yeast that has been explored for potential use in biotechnological applications, such as production of biofuels, single-cell proteins, enzymes, and other heterologous proteins. Here, we present the high-quality draft of the 10.9-Mb genome of K. marxianus var. marxianus KCTC 17555 (= CBS 6556 = ATCC 26548).
PMCID: PMC3536290  PMID: 23193140
7.  Design and Application of Highly Responsive Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Biosensors for Detection of Sugar in Living Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cells▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2007;73(22):7408-7414.
A protein sensor with a highly responsive fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) signal for sensing sugars in living Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells was developed by combinatorial engineering of the domain linker and the binding protein moiety. Although FRET sensors based on microbial binding proteins have previously been created for visualizing various sugars in vivo, such sensors are limited due to a weak signal intensity and a narrow dynamic range. In the present study, the length and composition of the linker moiety of a FRET-based sensor consisting of CFP-linker1-maltose-binding protein-linker2-YFP were redesigned, which resulted in a 10-fold-higher signal intensity. Molecular modeling of the composite linker moieties, including the connecting peptide and terminal regions of the flanking proteins, suggested that an ordered helical structure was preferable for tighter coupling of the conformational change of the binding proteins to the FRET response. When the binding site residue Trp62 of the maltose-binding protein was diversified by saturation mutagenesis, the Leu mutant exhibited an increased binding constant (82 μM) accompanied by further improvement in the signal intensity. Finally, the maltose sensor with optimized linkers was redesigned to create a sugar sensor with a new specificity and a wide dynamic range. When the optimized maltose sensors were employed as in vivo sensors, highly responsive FRET images were generated from real-time analysis of maltose uptake of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast).
PMCID: PMC2168232  PMID: 17890334
8.  Autoregulation in the Biosynthesis of Ribosomes 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(2):699-707.
The synthesis of ribosomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae consumes a prodigious amount of the cell's resources and, consequently, is tightly regulated. The rate of ribosome synthesis responds not only to nutritional cues but also to signals dependent on other macromolecular pathways of the cell, e.g., a defect in the secretory pathway leads to severe repression of transcription of both rRNA and ribosomal protein genes. A search for mutants that interrupted this repression revealed, surprisingly, that inactivation of RPL1B, one of a pair of genes encoding the 60S ribosomal protein L1, almost completely blocked the repression of rRNA and ribosomal protein gene transcription that usually follows a defect in the secretory pathway. Further experiments showed that almost any mutation leading to a defect in 60S subunit synthesis had the same effect, whereas mutations affecting 40S subunit synthesis did not. Although one might suspect that this effect would be due to a decrease in the initiation of translation or to the presence of half-mers, i.e., polyribosomes awaiting a 60S subunit, our data show that this is not the case. Rather, a variety of experiments suggest that some aspect of the production of defective 60S particles or, more likely, their breakdown suppresses the signal generated by a defect in the secretory pathway that represses ribosome synthesis.
PMCID: PMC151547  PMID: 12509467
9.  A Family of Telomere-Associated Autonomously Replicating Sequences and Their Functions in Targeted Recombination in Hansenula polymorpha DL-1 
Journal of Bacteriology  1999;181(3):1005-1013.
A family of multiple autonomously replicating sequences (ARSs) which are located at several chromosomal ends of Hansenula polymorpha DL-1 has been identified and characterized. Genomic Southern blotting with an ARS, HARS36, originating from the end of a chromosome, as a probe showed several homologues in the genome of H. polymorpha. Nucleotide sequences of the three fragments obtained by a selective cloning for chromosomal ends were nearly identical to that of HARS36. All three fragments harbored an ARS motif and ended with 18 to 23 identical repetitions of 5′-GGGTGGCG-3′ which resemble the telomeric repeat sequence in other eukaryotes. Transformation of H. polymorpha with nonlinearized plasmids containing the newly obtained telomeric ARSs almost exclusively resulted in the targeted integration of a single copy or multiple tandem copies of the plasmid into the chromosomes. The sensitivity to exonuclease Bal31 digestion of the common DNA fragment in all integrants confirmed the telomeric origin of HARS36 homologues, suggesting that several chromosomal ends, if not all of them, consisted of the same ARS motif and highly conserved sequences observed in HARS36. Even though the frequencies of targeted recombination were varied among the ends of the chromosomes, the overall frequency was over 96%. The results suggested that the integration of the plasmids containing telemeric ARSs occurred largely through homologous recombination at the telomeric repeats, which serve as high-frequency recombination targets.
PMCID: PMC93470  PMID: 9922267

Results 1-9 (9)