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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Sep;76(17):5718-27. doi: 10.1128/AEM.03087-09. Epub 2010 Jul 9.

Enhanced production and secretion of heterologous proteins by the filamentous fungus Aspergillus oryzae via disruption of vacuolar protein sorting receptor gene Aovps10.

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Department of Biotechnology, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan.


Filamentous fungi have received attention as hosts for heterologous protein production because of their high secretion capability and eukaryotic posttranslational modifications. However, despite these positive attributes, a bottleneck in posttranscriptional processing limits protein yields. The vacuolar protein sorting gene VPS10 encodes a sorting receptor for the recognition and delivery of several yeast vacuolar proteins. Although it can also target recombinant and aberrant proteins for vacuolar degradation, there is limited knowledge of the effect of its disruption on heterologous protein production. In this study, cDNA encoding AoVps10 from the filamentous fungus Aspergillus oryzae was cloned and sequenced. Microscopic observation of the transformant expressing AoVps10 fused with enhanced green fluorescent protein showed that the fusion protein localized at the Golgi and prevacuolar compartments. Moreover, disruption of the Aovps10 gene resulted in missorting and secretion of vacuolar carboxypeptidase AoCpyA into the medium, indicating that AoVps10 is required for sorting of vacuolar proteins to vacuoles. To investigate the extracellular production levels of heterologous proteins, DeltaAovps10 mutants expressing either bovine chymosin (CHY) or human lysozyme (HLY) were constructed. Interestingly, the DeltaAovps10 mutation increased the maximum extracellular production levels of CHY and HLY by 3- and 2.2-fold, respectively. Western blot analysis of extracellular heterologous proteins also demonstrated an improvement in productivity. These results suggest that AoVps10 plays a role in the regulation of heterologous protein secretion in A. oryzae and may be involved in the vacuolar protein degradation through the Golgi apparatus.

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