Biosensor for branched-chain amino acid metabolism in yeast and applications in isobutanol and isopentanol production

Yanfei Zhang, Jeremy D. Cortez, Sarah K. Hammer, César Carrasco-López, Sergio García Echauri, Jessica B. Wiggins, Wei Wang, José L. Avalos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism fulfills numerous physiological roles and can be harnessed to produce valuable chemicals. However, the lack of eukaryotic biosensors specific for BCAA-derived products has limited the ability to develop high-throughput screens for strain engineering and metabolic studies. Here, we harness the transcriptional regulator Leu3p from Saccharomyces cerevisiae to develop a genetically encoded biosensor for BCAA metabolism. In one configuration, we use the biosensor to monitor yeast production of isobutanol, an alcohol derived from valine degradation. Small modifications allow us to redeploy Leu3p in another biosensor configuration that monitors production of the leucine-derived alcohol, isopentanol. These biosensor configurations are effective at isolating high-producing strains and identifying enzymes with enhanced activity from screens for branched-chain higher alcohol (BCHA) biosynthesis in mitochondria as well as cytosol. Furthermore, this biosensor has the potential to assist in metabolic studies involving BCAA pathways, and offers a blueprint to develop biosensors for other products derived from BCAA metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number270
JournalNature communications
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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