Engineering Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce feruloyl esterase for the release of ferulic acid from switchgrass
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The Aspergillus niger feruloyl esterase gene (faeA) was cloned into Saccharomyces cerevisiae via a yeast expression vector, resulting in efficient expression and secretion of the enzyme in the medium with a yield of ~2 mg/l. The recombinant enzyme was purified to homogeneity by anion-exchange and hydrophobic interaction chromatography. The specific activity was determined to be 8,200 U/μg (pH 6.5, 20°C, 3.5 mM 4-nitrophenyl ferulate). The protein had a correct N-terminal sequence of ASTQGISEDLY, indicating that the signal peptide was properly processed. The FAE exhibited an optimum pH of 6–7 and operated optimally at 50°C using ground switchgrass as the substrate. The yeast clone was demonstrated to catalyze the release of ferulic acid continuously from switchgrass in YNB medium at 30°C. This work represents the first report on engineering yeast for the breakdown of ferulic acid crosslink to facilitate consolidated bioprocessing.
KeywordsFeruloyl esterase Saccharomyces cerevisiae Expression Switchgrass
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