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A multidomain α-glucan synthetase 2 (AmAgs2) is the key enzyme for pullulan biosynthesis in Aureobasidium melanogenum P16

Chen, Tie-Jun, Liu, Guang-Lei, Wei, Xin, Wang, Kai, Hu, Zhong, Chi, Zhe, Chi, Zhen-Ming
International journal of biological macromolecules 2020 v.150 pp. 1037-1045
Aureobasidium, amylases, biosynthesis, exopolysaccharides, gene overexpression, genes, glycogen (starch) synthase, hydrolysis, maltotriose, plasma membrane, pullulan
Pullulan, a biological macromolecule, has many applications. However, it is completely unknown how and where it is synthesized. In this study, it was found that the multidomain AmAgs2 (α-glucan synthase 2) encoded by an AmAGS2 gene in Aureobasidium melanogenum P16 contained the amylase domain (Amy_D), the glycogen synthetase domain (Gys_D) and the transmembrane regions in which the exopolysaccharide transporter domain (EPST_D) was embedded. Removal of the AmAGS2 gene in A. melanogenum P16 rendered the disruptants not to synthesize any pullulan and complementation of the AmAGS2 gene in the disruptants restored pullulan synthesis. Overexpression of the gene in Aureobasidium melanogenum CBS105.22, a non-pullulan producer, resulted in the transformants producing pullulan. Therefore, the AmAGS2 gene was the key gene responsible for pullulan biosynthesis in A. melanogenum P16. It was speculated that the short α-1,4-glucosyl chains (pullulan primers) were elongated by the Gys_D of the AmAgs2 to form long α-1,4-glucosyl chains (precursors of pullulan). All the precursors were transported to outside plasma membrane by the EPST_D in the transmembrane regions of the AmAgs2. Then, the Amy_D of the AmAgs2 was responsible for both hydrolysis of the endo-α-1,4-linkages in the precursors to release maltotriose and transfer of the maltotriose to Lph-glucose to form α-1,6 glucosidic bonds between maltotrioses in pullulan molecule. This is the first time to report that the AmAgs2 can play the key role in pullulan biosynthesis.