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Heterologous Biosynthesis of Kauralexin A1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae through Metabolic and Enzyme Engineering

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posted on 2024-03-26, 08:05 authored by Ruiqi Chen, Jingru Wang, Junsong Xu, Shengxin Nie, Chen Chen, Yukun Li, Yanni Li, Jianwei He, Weiguo Li, Mingzhang Wen, Jianjun Qiao
Kauralexin A1 (KA1) is a key intermediate of the kauralexin A series metabolites of maize phytoalexins. However, their application is severely limited by their low abundance in maize. In this study, an efficient biosynthetic pathway was constructed to produce KA1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Also, metabolic and enzyme engineering strategies were applied to construct the high-titer strains, such as chassis modification, screening synthases, the colocalization of enzymes, and multiple genomic integrations. First, the KA1 precursor ent-kaurene was synthesized using the efficient diterpene synthase GfCPS/KS from Fusarium fujikuroi, and optimized to reach 244.36 mg/L in shake flasks, which displayed a 200-fold increase compared to the initial strain. Then, the KA1 was produced under the catalysis of ZmCYP71Z18 from Zea mays and SmCPR1 from Salvia miltiorrhiza, and the titer was further improved by integrating the fusion protein into the genome. Finally, an ent-kaurene titer of 763.23 mg/L and a KA1 titer of 42.22 mg/L were achieved through a single-stage fed-batch fermentation in a 5 L bioreactor. This is the first report of the heterologous biosynthesis of maize diterpene phytoalexins in S. cerevisiae, which lays a foundation for further pathway reconstruction and biosynthesis of the kauralexin A series maize phytoalexins.

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