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An extracellular glucose sensor for substrate?dependent secretion and display of cellulose?degrading enzymes

An extracellular glucose sensor was developed for the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to enable substrate?dependent secretion and surface display of cellulases. Promoter and strain engineering increased the performance of the system, and cellobiose?dependent signal amplification resulted in a multi?fold increase in extracellular enzyme activity.The efficient hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars is key for viable economic production of biofuels and biorenewable chemicals from second?generation feedstocks. Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) combines lignocellulose saccharification and chemical production in a single step. To avoid wasting valuable resources during CBP, the selective secretion of enzymes (independent or attached to the surface) based on the carbon source available is advantageous. To enable enzyme expression and secretion based on extracellular glucose levels, we implemented a G?protein?coupled receptor (GPCR)?based extracellular glucose sensor; this allows the secretion and display of cellulases in the presence of the cellulosic fraction of lignocellulose by leveraging cellobiose?dependent signal amplification. We focused on the glucose?responsiveness of the HXT1 promoter and engineered PHXT1 by changing its core to that of the strong promoter PTHD3, increasing extracellular enzyme activity by 81%. We then demonstrated glucose?mediated expression and cell?surface display of the ??glucosidase BglI on the surface of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The display system was further optimized by re?directing fatty acid pools from lipid droplet synthesis toward formation of membrane precursors via knock?out of PAH1. This resulted in an up to 4.2?fold improvement with respect to the baseline strain. Finally, we observed cellobiose?dependent signal amplification of the system with an increase in enzymatic activity of up to 3.1?fold when cellobiose was added.

Publication date: 25/09/2023



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.