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Biosynthesis of mono-acylated mannosylerythritol lipid in an acyltransferase gene-disrupted mutant of Pseudozyma tsukubaensis

Saika, Azusa, Utashima, Yu, Koike, Hideaki, Yamamoto, Shuhei, Kishimoto, Takahide, Fukuoka, Tokuma, Morita, Tomotake
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2018 v.102 no.4 pp. 1759-1767
Pseudozyma, acylation, biosurfactants, biosynthesis, carbon, frameshift mutation, glucose, homologous recombination, hydrophilicity, lipids, mannose, moieties, multigene family, mutants, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, ultraviolet radiation, uracil, yeasts
The basidiomycetous yeast genus Pseudozyma produce large amounts of mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs), which are biosurfactants. A few Pseudozyma strains produce mono-acylated MEL as a minor compound using excess glucose as the sole carbon source. Mono-acylated MEL shows higher hydrophilicity than di-acylated MEL and has great potential for aqueous applications. Recently, the gene cluster involved in the MEL biosynthesis pathway was identified in yeast. Here, we generated an acyltransferase (PtMAC2) deletion strain of P. tsukubaensis 1E5 with uracil auxotrophy as a selectable marker. A PtURA5-mutant with a frameshift mutation in PtURA5 was generated as a uracil auxotroph of strain 1E5 by ultraviolet irradiation on plate medium containing 5-fluoro-orotic acid (5-FOA). In the mutant, PtMAC2 was replaced with a PtURA5 cassette containing the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) (2000 bp) and 3′ UTR (2000 bp) of PtMAC2 by homologous recombination, yielding strain ΔPtMAC2. Based on TLC and NMR analysis, we found that ΔPtMAC2 accumulates MEL acylated at the C-2′ position of the mannose moiety. These results indicate that PtMAC2p catalyzes acylation at the C-3′ position of the mannose of MEL.