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Enzyme Microb Technol. 2012 Jun 10;51(1):16-25. doi: 10.1016/j.enzmictec.2012.03.008. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Characterization of non-oxidative transaldolase and transketolase enzymes in the pentose phosphate pathway with regard to xylose utilization by recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Biomass Technology Research Center-BTRC, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology-AIST, 3-11-32 Kagamiyama, Higashi-hiroshima, Hiroshima 739-0046, Japan.


The activity of transaldolase and transketolase, key enzymes in the non-oxidative pentose phosphate pathway, is rate-limiting for xylose utilization in recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Overexpression of TAL1 and TKL1, the major transaldolase and transketolase genes, increases the flux from the pentose phosphate pathway into the glycolytic pathway. However, the functional roles of NQM1 and TKL2, the secondary transaldolase and transketolase genes, especially in xylose utilization, remain unclear. This study focused on characterization of NQM1 and TKL2, together with TAL1 and TKL1, regarding their roles in xylose utilization and fermentation. Knockout or overexpression of these four genes on the phenotype of xylose-utilizing S. cerevisiae strains was also examined. Transcriptional analysis indicated that the expression of TAL1, NQM1, and TKL1 was up-regulated in the presence of xylose. A significant decrease in both growth on xylose and xylose-fermenting ability in tal1Δ and tkl1Δ mutants confirmed that TAL1 and TKL1 are essential for xylose assimilation and fermentation. Gene disruption analysis using a tkl1Δ mutant revealed that TKL1 is also required for utilization of glucose. Growth on xylose and xylose-fermenting ability were slightly influenced by deletion of NQM1 or TKL2 when xylose was used as the sole carbon source. Moreover, the rate of xylose consumption and ethanol production was slightly impaired in TKL1- and TKL2-overexpressing strains. NQM1 and TKL2 may thus play a physiological role via an effect on the non-oxidative pentose phosphate pathway in the xylose metabolic pathway, although their roles in xylose utilization and fermentation are less important than those of TAL1 and TKL1.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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