Evolutionary engineering reveals amino acid substitutions in Ato2 and Ato3 that allow improved growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on lactic acid

Nicolò Baldi, Sophie Claire de Valk, Maria Sousa-Silva, Margarida Casal, Isabel Soares-Silva, Robert Mans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the complete set of proteins involved in transport of lactic acid across the cell membrane has not been determined. In this study, we aimed to identify transport proteins not previously described to be involved in lactic acid transport via a combination of directed evolution, whole-genome resequencing and reverse engineering. Evolution of a strain lacking all known lactic acid transporters on lactate led to the discovery of mutated Ato2 and Ato3 as two novel lactic acid transport proteins. When compared to previously identified S. cerevisiae genes involved in lactic acid transport, expression of ATO3T284C was able to facilitate the highest growth rate (0.15 ± 0.01 h-1) on this carbon source. A comparison between (evolved) sequences and 3D models of the transport proteins showed that most of the identified mutations resulted in a widening of the narrowest hydrophobic constriction of the anion channel. We hypothesize that this observation, sometimes in combination with an increased binding affinity of lactic acid to the sites adjacent to this constriction, are responsible for the improved lactic acid transport in the evolved proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfoab033
Number of pages12
JournalFEMS Yeast Research
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript

Keywords

  • carboxylic acids
  • evolutionary engineering
  • protein structure
  • reverse engineering
  • transport

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