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PLoS One. 2014 Apr 14;9(4):e94472. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094472. eCollection 2014.

Functional characterization of two structurally novel diacylglycerol acyltransferase2 isozymes responsible for the enhanced production of stearate-rich storage lipid in Candida tropicalis SY005.

Author information

1
Advanced Laboratory for Plant Genetic Engineering, Advanced Technology Development Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India.
2
Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India.
3
Advanced Laboratory for Plant Genetic Engineering, Advanced Technology Development Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India; Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India.

Abstract

Diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) activity is an essential enzymatic step in the formation of neutral lipid i.e., triacylglycerol in all living cells capable of accumulating storage lipid. Previously, we characterized an oleaginous yeast Candida tropicalis SY005 that yields storage lipid up to 58% under a specific nitrogen-stress condition, when the DGAT-specific transcript is drastically up-regulated. Here we report the identification, differential expression and function of two DGAT2 gene homologues--CtDGAT2a and CtDGAT2b of this C. tropicalis. Two protein isoforms are unique with respect to the presence of five additional stretches of amino acids, besides possessing three highly conserved motifs known in other reported DGAT2 enzymes. Moreover, the CtDGAT2a and CtDGAT2b are characteristically different in amino acid sequences and predicted protein structures. The CtDGAT2b isozyme was found to be catalytically 12.5% more efficient than CtDGAT2a for triacylglycerol production in a heterologous yeast system i.e., Saccharomyces cerevisiae quadruple mutant strain H1246 that is inherently defective in neutral lipid biosynthesis. The CtDGAT2b activity rescued the growth of transformed S. cerevisiae mutant cells, which are usually non-viable in the medium containing free fatty acids by incorporating them into triacylglycerol, and displayed preferential specificity towards saturated acyl species as substrate. Furthermore, we document that the efficiency of triacylglycerol production by CtDGAT2b is differentially affected by deletion, insertion or replacement of amino acids in five regions exclusively present in two CtDGAT2 isozymes. Taken together, our study characterizes two structurally novel DGAT2 isozymes, which are accountable for the enhanced production of storage lipid enriched with saturated fatty acids inherently in C. tropicalis SY005 strain as well as in transformed S. cerevisiae neutral lipid-deficient mutant cells. These two genes certainly will be useful for further investigation on the novel structure-function relationship of DGAT repertoire, and also in metabolic engineering for the enhanced production of lipid feedstock in other organisms.

PMID:
24732323
PMCID:
PMC3986092
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0094472
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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