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Yeast. 1998 Nov;14(15):1387-97.

Cloning and characterization of an n-alkane-inducible cytochrome P450 gene essential for n-decane assimilation by Yarrowia lipolytica.

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Department of Biotechnology, University of Tokyo, Japan.


A gene encoding cytochrome P450 involved in n-alkane utilization was cloned from an n-alkane assimilating yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica CX161-1B. The RT-PCR was performed on the mRNA prepared from the cells grown on n-alkane as a template using degenerated PCR primers designed for the conserved amino acid sequences of the CYP52 family. The RT-PCR amplified fragment was then used as a probe to isolate genes coding for P450 of the CYP52 family from the genomic DNA library of the strain CX161-1B. The nucleotide sequence of one of the positive clones was determined. An open reading frame which had the same nucleotide sequence as the RT-PCR-amplified fragment was identified. It was of 523 amino acid residues, 60.2 kDa in molecular mass, and had 30-45% sequence identity with the other members of the CYP52 family of Candida species so far analysed. The expression of the P450 gene that was named as YlALK1 was induced by n-tetradecane and repressed by glycerol. A YlALK1 gene disruptant did not grow well on n-decane, but grew on longer-chain n-alkanes such as hexadecane as a sole carbon source. Introduction of YlALK1 on a plasmid to the disruptant restored the decane assimilation. These results suggest that the YlALK1 gene product is the major P450A1k to metabolize short-chain n-alkanes such as decane and dodecane in Y. lipolytica.

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