Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology

, Volume 38, Issue 12, pp 1961–1967 | Cite as

Engineering Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce feruloyl esterase for the release of ferulic acid from switchgrass

  • Dominic W. S. WongEmail author
  • Victor J. Chan
  • Sarah B. Batt
  • Gautam Sarath
  • Hans Liao
Original Paper


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.


Feruloyl esterase Saccharomyces cerevisiae Expression Switchgrass 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag (outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominic W. S. Wong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Victor J. Chan
    • 1
  • Sarah B. Batt
    • 1
  • Gautam Sarath
    • 2
  • Hans Liao
    • 3
  1. 1.Western Regional Research CenterUSDA-ARSAlbanyUSA
  2. 2.Grain, Forage and Bioenergy Research UnitUSDA-ARSLincolnUSA
  3. 3.OPX BiotechnologiesBoulderUSA

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