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Enzyme-fusion strategies for redirecting and improving carotenoid synthesis in S. cerevisiae

Rabeharindranto, Hery, Castaño-Cerezo, Sara, Lautier, Thomas, Garcia-Alles, Luis F., Treitz, Christian, Tholey, Andreas, Truan, Gilles
Metabolic Engineering Communications 2019 v.8 pp. e00086
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous, active sites, beta-carotene, biochemical pathways, enzymes, metabolites, proteins, synthetic genes
Spatial clustering of enzymes has proven an elegant approach to optimize metabolite transfer between enzymes in synthetic metabolic pathways. Among the multiple methods used to promote colocalisation, enzyme fusion is probably the simplest. Inspired by natural systems, we have explored the metabolic consequences of spatial reorganizations of the catalytic domains of Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous carotenoid enzymes produced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Synthetic genes encoding bidomain enzymes composed of CrtI and CrtB domains from the natural CrtYB fusion were connected in the two possible orientations, using natural and synthetic linkers. A tridomain enzyme (CrtB, CrtI, CrtY) harboring the full β-carotene producing pathway was also constructed. Our results demonstrate that domain order and linker properties considerably impact both the expression and/or stability of the constructed proteins and the functionality of the catalytic domains, all concurring to either diminish or boost specific enzymatic steps of the metabolic pathway. Remarkably, the yield of β-carotene production doubled with the tridomain fusion while precursor accumulation decreased, leading to an improvement of the pathway efficiency, when compared to the natural system. Our data strengthen the idea that fusion of enzymatic domains is an appropriate technique not only to achieve spatial confinement and enhance the metabolic flux but also to produce molecules not easily attainable with natural enzymatic configurations, even with membrane bound enzymes.