Expression of a modified xylanase in yeast
Mchunu, Nokuthula Peace
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Protein engineering has provided a key for adapting naturally-occurring enzymes for industrial processes. However, several obstacles have to be overcome after these proteins have been adapted, the main one being finding a suitable host to over-express these recombinant protein. This study investigated Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Pichia pastoris and Escherichia coli as suitable expression hosts for a previously modified fungal xylanase, which is naturally produced by the filamentous fungus, Thermomyces lanuginosus. A xylanase variant, NC38, that was made alkaline-stable using directed evolution was cloned into four different vectors: pDLG1 with an ADH2 promoter and pJC1 with a PGK promoter for expression in S. Cerevisiae, pBGP1 with a GAP promoter for expression in P. pastoris and pET22b(+) for expression in E. Coli BL21 (DE3). S. Cerevisiae clones with the p DLG1-NC38 combination showed very low activity on the plate assay and were not used for expression in liquid media as the promoter was easily repressed by reducing sugars used during production experiments. S. cerevisiae clones carrying pJC1-NC38 were grown in media without uracil while P. Pastoris clones were grown in YPD containing the antibiotic, zeocin and E. Coli clones were grown in LB with ampicillin. The levels of xylanase expression were then compared between P. Pastoris, S. cerevisiae and E. coli. The highest recombinant xylanase expression was observed in P. Pastoris with 261.7U/ml, followed by E.coli with 47.9 U/ml and lastly S. cerevisiae with 13.2 U/ml. The localization of the enzyme was also determined. In the methylotrophic yeast, P. Pastoris, the enzyme was secreted into the culture media with little or no contamination from the host proteins, while the in other hosts, the xylanase was located intracellularly. Therefore in this study, a mutated alkaline stable xylanase was successfully expressed in P. Pastoris and was also secreted into the culture medium with little or no contamination by host proteins, which favours the application of this enzyme in the pulp and paper industry.