Expression of a Dianthus flavonoid glucosyltransferase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for whole-cell biocatalysis

School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
Journal of Biotechnology (Impact Factor: 2.87). 07/2009; 142(3-4):233-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2009.05.008
Source: PubMed


Glycosyltransferases are promising biocatalysts for the synthesis of small molecule glycosides. In this study, Saccharomyces cerevisiae expressing a flavonoid glucosyltransferase (GT) from Dianthus caryophyllus (carnation) was investigated as a whole-cell biocatalyst. Two yeast expression systems were compared using the flavonoid naringenin as a model substrate. Under in vitro conditions, naringenin-7-O-glucoside was formed and a higher specific glucosyl transfer activity was found using a galactose inducible expression system compared to a constitutive expression system. However, S. cerevisiae expressing the GT constitutively was significantly more productive than the galactose inducible system under in vivo conditions. Interestingly, the glycosides were recovered directly from the culture broth and did not accumulate intracellularly. A previously uncharacterized naringenin glycoside formed using the D. caryophyllus GT was identified as naringenin-4'-O-glucoside. It was found that S. cerevisiae cells hydrolyze naringenin-7-O-glucoside during whole-cell biocatalysis, resulting in a low final glycoside titer. When phloretin was added as a substrate to the yeast strain expressing the GT constitutively, the natural product phlorizin was formed. This study demonstrates S. cerevisiae is a promising whole-cell biocatalyst host for the production of valuable glycosides.

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    ABSTRACT: Flavonoid glycosides are known for their medicinal properties and potential use as natural sweeteners. In this study, Saccharomyces cerevisiae expressing a flavonoid glucosyltransferase from Dianthus caryophyllus was used as a whole-cell biocatalyst. The yeast system's performance was characterized using the flavanone naringenin as a model substrate for the production of naringenin glycosides. It was found that final naringenin glycoside yields increased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing initial naringenin substrate concentrations. However, naringenin concentrations >0.5 mM did not give further enhancements in glycoside yield. In addition, a method for controlling overall selectivity was discovered where the glucose content in the culture medium could be altered to control the selectivity, making either naringenin-7-O-glucoside (N7O) or naringenin-4'-O-glucoside (N4O) the major products. The highest yields achieved were 87 mg/L of N7O and 82 mg/L of N4O using 40MSGI and 2xMSGI media, respectively. The effects of two intermediates involved in UDP-glucose biosynthesis, uridine 5'-monophosphate (UMP) and orotic acid, on glycoside yields were also determined. Addition of UMP to the culture medium significantly decreased glycoside yield. In contrast, addition of orotic acid to the culture medium significantly enhanced the glycoside yield and shifted the selectivity toward N7O. The highest naringenin glycoside yield achieved using 10 mM orotic acid in the 40MSGI media was 155 mg/L, a 71% conversion of substrate to product.
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    ABSTRACT: The phenolic compound phloridzin (phloretin 2'-O-glucoside, phlorizin, phlorrhizin, phlorhizin or phlorizoside) is a prominent member of the chemical class of dihydrochalcones, which are phenylpropanoids. The apple tree (Malus sp.) accumulates high amounts of phloridzin, whereas few other species contain this compound only in low amounts. Additionally, Malus sp. show a species- and tissue-specific distribution of phloridzin and its derivatives. Whereas the physiological role of phloridzin in planta is not fully understood, the effect on human health - especially diabetes - and membrane permeability is well documented. The biosynthesis of phloridzin was investigated only recently with recombinant enzymes and plant protein extracts and involved a NADPH-dependent dehydrogenase, chalcone synthase and UDP-glucose:phloretin 2'-O-glycosyltransferase.
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