Gene array-based identification of changes that contribute to ethanol tolerance in ethanologenic Escherichia coli: comparison of KO11 (parent) to LY01 (resistant mutant).
ABSTRACT Escherichia coli KO11 (parent) and LY01 (mutant) have been engineered for the production of ethanol. Gene arrays were used to identify expression changes that occurred in the mutant, LY01, during directed evolution to improve ethanol tolerance (defined as extent of growth in the presence of added ethanol). Expression levels for 205 (5%) of the ORFs were found to differ significantly (p < 0.10) between KO11 and LY01 under each of six different growth conditions (p < 0.000001). Statistical evaluation of differentially expressed genes according to various classification schemes identified physiological areas of importance. A large fraction of differentially expressed ORFs were globally regulated, leading to the discovery of a nonfunctional fnr gene in strain LY01. In agreement with a putative role for FNR in alcohol tolerance, increasing the copy number of fnr(+) in KO11(pGS196) decreased ethanol tolerance but had no effect on growth in the absence of ethanol. Other differences in gene expression provided additional clues that permitted experimentation. Tolerance appears to involve increased metabolism of glycine (higher expression of gcv genes) and increased production of betaine (higher expression of betIBA and betT encoding betaine synthesis from choline and choline uptake, respectively). Addition of glycine (10 mM) increased ethanol tolerance in KO11 but had no effect in the absence of ethanol. Addition of betaine (10 mM) increased ethanol tolerance by over 2-fold in both LY01 and KO11 but had no effect on growth in the absence of ethanol. Both glycine and betaine can serve as protective osmolytes, and this may be the basis of their beneficial action. In addition, the marAB genes encoding multiple antibiotic resistance proteins were expressed at higher levels in LY01 as compared to KO11. Interestingly, overexpression of marAB in KO11 made this strain more ethanol-sensitive. Overexpression of marAB in LY01 had no effect on ethanol tolerance. Increased expression of genes encoding serine uptake (sdaC) and serine deamination (sdaB) also appear beneficial for LY01. Addition of serine increased the growth of LY01 in the presence and absence of ethanol but had no effect on KO11. Changes in the expression of several genes concerned with the synthesis of the cell envelope components were also noted, which may contribute to increased ethanol tolerance.
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ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms of ethanol toxicity and tolerance in bacteria, although important for biotechnology and bioenergy applications, remain incompletely understood. Genetic studies have identified potential cellular targets for ethanol and have revealed multiple mechanisms of tolerance, but it remains difficult to separate the direct and indirect effects of ethanol. We used adaptive evolution to generate spontaneous ethanol-tolerant strains of Escherichia coli, and then characterized mechanisms of toxicity and resistance using genome-scale DNAseq, RNAseq, and ribosome profiling coupled with specific assays of ribosome and RNA polymerase function. Evolved alleles of metJ, rho, and rpsQ recapitulated most of the observed ethanol tolerance, implicating translation and transcription as key processes affected by ethanol. Ethanol induced miscoding errors during protein synthesis, from which the evolved rpsQ allele protected cells by increasing ribosome accuracy. Ribosome profiling and RNAseq analyses established that ethanol negatively affects transcriptional and translational processivity. Ethanol-stressed cells exhibited ribosomal stalling at internal AUG codons, which may be ameliorated by the adaptive inactivation of the MetJ repressor of methionine biosynthesis genes. Ethanol also caused aberrant intragenic transcription termination for mRNAs with low ribosome density, which was reduced in a strain with the adaptive rho mutation. Furthermore, ethanol inhibited transcript elongation by RNA polymerase in vitro. We propose that ethanol-induced inhibition and uncoupling of mRNA and protein synthesis through direct effects on ribosomes and RNA polymerase conformations are major contributors to ethanol toxicity in E. coli, and that adaptive mutations in metJ, rho, and rpsQ help protect these central dogma processes in the presence of ethanol.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 06/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Ethanol fuel can be produced renewably from numerous plant and waste materials, but harnessing the energy of lignocellulosic feedstocks has been particularly challenging in the development of this alternative fuel as a substitute for petroleum-based fuels. Consolidated bioprocessing has the potential to make the conversion of biomass to fuel an economical process by combining enzyme production, polysaccharide hydrolysis, and sugar fermentation into a single unit operation. This consolidation of steps takes advantage of the synergistic nature of enzyme systems but requires the use of one or a few organisms capable of producing highly efficient cellulolytic enzymes and fermenting most of the resulting sugars to ethanol with minimal byproduct formation while tolerating high levels of ethanol. In this review, conventional ethanol production, consolidated bioprocessing, and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation are described and compared. Several wild-type and genetically engineered microorganisms, including strains of Clostridium thermocellum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Klebsiella oxytoca, Escherichia coli, Flammulina velutipes, and Zymomonas mobilis, among others, are highlighted for their potential in consolidated bioprocessing. This review examines the favorable and undesirable qualities of these microorganisms and their enzyme systems, process engineering considerations for particular organisms, characteristics of cellulosomes, enzyme engineering strategies, progress in commercial development, and the impact of these topics on current and future research.BioEnergy Research 06/2013; 6(2):416-435. · 4.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Though n-butanol has been proposed as a potential transportation biofuel, its toxicity often causes oxidative stress in the host microorganism and is considered one of the bottlenecks preventing its efficient mass production. To relieve the oxidative stress in the host cell, metallothioneins (MTs), which are known as scavengers for reactive oxygen species (ROS), were engineered in E. coli hosts for both cytosolic and outer-membrane-targeted (osmoregulatory membrane protein OmpC fused) expression. Metallothioneins from human (HMT), mouse (MMT), and tilapia fish (TMT) were tested. The host strain expressing membrane-targeted TMT showed the greatest ability to reduce oxidative stresses induced by n-butanol, ethanol, furfural, hydroxymethylfurfural, and nickel. The same strain also allowed for an increased growth rate of recombinant E. coli under n-butanol stress. Further experiments indicated that the TMT-fused OmpC protein could not only function in ROS scavenging but also regulate either glycine betaine (GB) or glucose uptake via osmosis, and the dual functional fusion protein could contribute in an enhancement of the host microorganism's growth rate. The abilities of scavenging intracellular or extracellular ROS by these engineering E. coli were examined, and TMT show the best ability among three MTs. Additionally, the membrane-targeted fusion protein, OmpC-TMT, improved host tolerance up to 1.5% n-butanol above that of TMT which is only 1%. These results presented indicate potential novel approaches for engineering stress tolerant microorganism strains.Biotechnology for Biofuels 09/2013; 6(1):130. · 5.55 Impact Factor