Does co-expression of Yarrowia lipolytica genes encoding Yas1p, Yas2p and Yas3p make a potential alkane-responsive biosensor in Saccharomyces cerevisiae?
Journal article, 2020
Alkane-based biofuels are desirable to produce at a commercial scale as these have properties similar to current petroleum-derived transportation fuels. Rationally engineering microorganisms to produce a desirable compound, such as alkanes, is, however, challenging. Metabolic engineers are therefore increasingly implementing evolutionary engineering approaches combined with high-throughput screening tools, including metabolite biosensors, to identify productive cells. Engineering Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce alkanes could be facilitated by using an alkane-responsive biosensor, which can potentially be developed from the native alkane-sensing system in Yarrowia lipolytica, a well-known alkaneassimilating yeast. This putative alkane-sensing system is, at least, based on three different transcription factors (TFs) named Yas1p, Yas2p and Yas3p. Although this system is not fully elucidated in Y. lipolytica, we were interested in evaluating the possibility of translating this system into an alkane-responsive biosensor in S. cerevisiae. We evaluated the alkanesensing system in S. cerevisiae by developing one sensor based on the native Y. lipolytica ALK1 promoter and one sensor based on the native S. cerevisiae CYC1 promoter. In both systems, we found that the TFs Yas1p, Yas2p and Yas3p do not seem to act in the same way as these have been reported to do in their native host. Additional analysis of the TFs suggests that more knowledge regarding their mechanism is needed before a potential alkane-responsive sensor based on the Y. lipolytica system can be established in S. cerevisiae. Copyright: