5 years ago

Production of Medium Chain Fatty Acids by Yarrowia lipolytica: Combining Molecular Design and TALEN to Engineer the Fatty Acid Synthase

Production of Medium Chain Fatty Acids by Yarrowia lipolytica: Combining Molecular Design and TALEN to Engineer the Fatty Acid Synthase
Vinciane Borsenberger, Sophie Barbe, Fayza Daboussi, Gwendoline Dubois, Coraline Rigouin, Isabelle André, Christian Croux, Florence Bordes, Alain Marty, Marc Gueroult
Yarrowia lipolytica is a promising organism for the production of lipids of biotechnological interest and particularly for biofuel. In this study, we engineered the key enzyme involved in lipid biosynthesis, the giant multifunctional fatty acid synthase (FAS), to shorten chain length of the synthesized fatty acids. Taking as starting point that the ketoacyl synthase (KS) domain of Yarrowia lipolytica FAS is directly involved in chain length specificity, we used molecular modeling to investigate molecular recognition of palmitic acid (C16 fatty acid) by the KS. This enabled to point out the key role of an isoleucine residue, I1220, from the fatty acid binding site, which could be targeted by mutagenesis. To address this challenge, TALEN (transcription activator-like effector nucleases)-based genome editing technology was applied for the first time to Yarrowia lipolytica and proved to be very efficient for inducing targeted genome modifications. Among the generated FAS mutants, those having a bulky aromatic amino acid residue in place of the native isoleucine at position 1220 led to a significant increase of myristic acid (C14) production compared to parental wild-type KS. Particularly, the best performing mutant, I1220W, accumulates C14 at a level of 11.6% total fatty acids. Overall, this work illustrates how a combination of molecular modeling and genome-editing technology can offer novel opportunities to rationally engineer complex systems for synthetic biology.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssynbio.7b00034

DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.7b00034

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