Directed Evolution Of Xylose Isomerase For Improved Xylose Catabolism And Fermentation In The Yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae
MetadataShow full item record
The heterologous expression of a highly functional xylose isomerase pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae would have significant advantages for ethanol yield, since the pathway bypasses cofactor requirements found in the traditionally used oxidoreductase pathways. However, nearly all reported xylose isomerase-based pathways in S. cerevisiae suffer from poor ethanol productivity, low xylose consumption rates, and poor cell growth compared with an oxidoreductase pathway and, additionally, often require adaptive strain evolution. Here, we report on the directed evolution of the Piromyces sp. xylose isomerase (encoded by xylA) for use in yeast. After three rounds of mutagenesis and growth-based screening, we isolated a variant containing six mutations (E15D, E114G, E129D, T142S, A177T, and V433I) that exhibited a 77% increase in enzymatic activity. When expressed in a minimally engineered yeast host containing a gre3 knockout and tall and XKS1 overexpression, the strain expressing this mutant enzyme improved its aerobic growth rate by 61-fold and both ethanol production and xylose consumption rates by nearly 8-fold. Moreover, the mutant enzyme enabled ethanol production by these yeasts under oxygen-limited fermentation conditions, unlike the wild-type enzyme. Under microaerobic conditions, the ethanol production rates of the strain expressing the mutant xylose isomerase were considerably higher than previously reported values for yeast harboring a xylose isomerase pathway and were also comparable to those of the strains harboring an oxidoreductase pathway. Consequently, this study shows the potential to evolve a xylose isomerase pathway for more efficient xylose utilization.