Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 85, Issue 6, pp 1953–1960 | Cite as

ATP-citrate lyase activity and carotenoid production in batch cultures of Phaffia rhodozyma under nitrogen-limited and nonlimited conditions

  • Cipriano Chávez-Cabrera
  • Zoila R. Flores-Bustamante
  • Rodolfo Marsch
  • María del Carmen Montes
  • Sergio Sánchez
  • Juan Carlos Cancino-Díaz
  • Luis Bernardo Flores-CoteraEmail author
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology


ATP-citrate lyase (ACL) is the key cytoplasmic enzyme which supplies acetyl-CoA for fatty acids in oleaginous yeast. Although it has been suggested that fatty acid and carotenoid biosynthesis may have a common source of acetyl-CoA in Phaffia rhodozyma, the source for carotenoids is currently unknown. The purpose of this work was to analyze the development of ACL activity during batch cultures of P. rhodozyma under ammonium-limited and nonammonium-limited conditions and study its possible relationship with carotenoid synthesis. Every experiment showed carotenoid accumulation linked to an increasing ACL activity. Moreover, the ACL activity increased with dissolved oxygen (DO), i.e., ACL responded to DO in a similar way as carotenoid synthesis. Additionally, in the ammonium-limited culture, ACL activity increased upon ammonium depletion. However, the contribution to carotenoid accumulation in that case was negligible. This suggests that P. rhodozyma has developed two components of ACL, each one responsive to a different environmental stimulus, i.e., DO and ammonium depletion. The role of each component is still unknown; however, considering that the former responds to DO and the known role of carotenoids as antioxidants, it may be a provider of acetyl-CoA for carotenoid synthesis.


Astaxanthin Ethanol Lipid Oxygen Xanthophyllomyces 



The authors thank to Elvira Ríos-Leal for assistance in ethanol analyses and Fernando Maldonado-García and Jesus Vega-Estrada for and their expert technical assistance. The research was funded by the Department of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Cinvestav.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cipriano Chávez-Cabrera
    • 1
  • Zoila R. Flores-Bustamante
    • 1
  • Rodolfo Marsch
    • 1
  • María del Carmen Montes
    • 1
  • Sergio Sánchez
    • 2
  • Juan Carlos Cancino-Díaz
    • 3
  • Luis Bernardo Flores-Cotera
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology and BioengineeringCinvestav-IPNMéxicoMéxico
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Instituto de Investigaciones BiomédicasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxicoMéxico
  3. 3.Department of MicrobiologyEscuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas del IPNMéxicoMéxico

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