Cell surface-engineered yeast displaying a histidine oligopeptide (hexa-His) has enhanced adsorption of and tolerance to heavy metal ions
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A histidine oligopeptide (hexa-His) with the ability to chelate divalent heavy metal ions was displayed on the yeast cell surface for the purpose of enhanced adsorption of heavy metal ions. We genetically fused a hexa-His-encoding gene with the gene encoding the C-terminal half of α-agglutinin that includes a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor attachment signal sequence and attached the hexa-His peptide on the cell wall of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This surface-engineered yeast adsorbed three to eight times more copper ions than the parent strain and was more resistant to copper (4 mM) than the parent (below 1 mM at pH 7.8). It was possible to recover about a half of the copper ions adsorbed by whole cells with EDTA treatment without disintegrating the cells. Thus, we succeeded in constructing a novel yeast cell with both tolerance to toxic contaminants and enhanced adsorption of metal ions onto the cell surface.
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