APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Genetic modification of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for pentose fermentation and glucose-fructose isomerization
- Improved lignocellulose hydrolysate fermentation
Relative to current enzymes, this novel xylose isomerase shows:
- More than 2.5 times higher specific activity
- Almost 40% lower Km for D-xylose
- Higher activity over a broader temperature range, important for glucose to fructose isomerization
- Tolerates higher xylitol concentrations
- Carbohydrate rich substrates such as lignocellulosic hydrolysates remain one of the primary sources of renewable fuel and bulk chemicals. D-xylose is often present in significant amounts. While Saccharomyces cerevisiae can acquire the ability to metabolize D-xylose through expression of heterologous xylose isomerase (XI), this enzyme is notoriously difficult to express in S. cerevisiae.
Researchers at Berkeley Lab and their collaborators have discovered, synthesized and cloned a novel D-xylose isomerase from the microbiome of the wood-feeding beetle Odontotaenius disjunctus.
The enzyme was identified via analysis of genes present in metagenome assemblies with XI functional predictions. Its expression resulted in faster aerobic growth of S. cerevisiae with D-xylose as the sole carbon source. Notably, it exhibited a maximal velocity that was three times higher than that of the XI from Piromyces sp. under identical conditions.
Yield is of paramount importance for process economy. This enzyme shows promise for the efficient lignocellulosic hydrolysate fermentation on the pathway toward renewable fuel and renewable chemicals.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Publication: Silva PC, Ceja-Navarro JA, Azevedo F, Karaoz U, Brodie EL, Johansson B. A novel D-xylose isomerase from the gut of the wood feeding beetle Odontotaenius disjunctus efficiently expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Sci Rep. 2021 Feb 26;11(1):4766. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-83937-z. PMID: 33637780; PMCID: PMC7910561.
Publication: Ceja-Navarro, J.A., Karaoz, U., Bill, M. et al. Gut anatomical properties and microbial functional assembly promote lignocellulose deconstruction and colony subsistence of a wood-feeding beetle. Nat Microbiol 4, 864–875 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-019-0384-y
STATUS: Patent pending.
OPPORTUNITIES: Available for licensing or collaborative research.
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