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Title: Ferredoxin:NAD + oxidoreductase of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and its role in ethanol formation [Identification of a ferredoxin:NAD + oxidoreductase of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and its role in ethanol formation]

Abstract

Ferredoxin:NAD + oxidoreductase (NADH-FNOR) catalyzes the transfer of electrons from reduced ferredoxin to NAD +. This enzyme has been hypothesized to be the main enzyme responsible for ferredoxin oxidization in the NADH-based ethanol pathway in Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum; however, the corresponding gene has not yet been identified. Here, we identified the Tsac_1705 protein as a candidate FNOR based on the homology of its functional domains. We then confirmed its activity in vitro with a ferredoxin-based FNOR assay. To determine its role in metabolism, the tsac_1705 gene was deleted in different strains of T. saccharolyticum. In wild-type T. saccharolyticum, deletion of tsac_1705 resulted in a 75% loss of NADH-FNOR activity, which indicated that Tsac_1705 is the main NADH-FNOR in T. saccharolyticum. When both NADH- and NADPH-linked FNOR genes were deleted, the ethanol titer decreased and the ratio of ethanol to acetate approached unity, indicative of the absence of FNOR activity. As a result, we tested the effect of heterologous expression of Tsac_1705 in Clostridium thermocellum and found improvements in both the titer and the yield of ethanol.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1339505
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-2700-67275
Journal ID: ISSN 0099-2240
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 82; Journal Issue: 24; Journal ID: ISSN 0099-2240
Publisher:
American Society for Microbiology
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; metabolic engineering; ferredoxins; ethanol production

Citation Formats

Tian, Liang, Lo, Jonathan, Shao, Xiongjun, Zheng, Tianyong, Olson, Daniel G., and Lynd, Lee R. Ferredoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and its role in ethanol formation [Identification of a ferredoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and its role in ethanol formation]. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1128/AEM.02130-16.
Tian, Liang, Lo, Jonathan, Shao, Xiongjun, Zheng, Tianyong, Olson, Daniel G., & Lynd, Lee R. Ferredoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and its role in ethanol formation [Identification of a ferredoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and its role in ethanol formation]. United States. doi:10.1128/AEM.02130-16.
Tian, Liang, Lo, Jonathan, Shao, Xiongjun, Zheng, Tianyong, Olson, Daniel G., and Lynd, Lee R. 2016. "Ferredoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and its role in ethanol formation [Identification of a ferredoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and its role in ethanol formation]". United States. doi:10.1128/AEM.02130-16. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1339505.
@article{osti_1339505,
title = {Ferredoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and its role in ethanol formation [Identification of a ferredoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum and its role in ethanol formation]},
author = {Tian, Liang and Lo, Jonathan and Shao, Xiongjun and Zheng, Tianyong and Olson, Daniel G. and Lynd, Lee R.},
abstractNote = {Ferredoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase (NADH-FNOR) catalyzes the transfer of electrons from reduced ferredoxin to NAD+. This enzyme has been hypothesized to be the main enzyme responsible for ferredoxin oxidization in the NADH-based ethanol pathway in Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum; however, the corresponding gene has not yet been identified. Here, we identified the Tsac_1705 protein as a candidate FNOR based on the homology of its functional domains. We then confirmed its activity in vitro with a ferredoxin-based FNOR assay. To determine its role in metabolism, the tsac_1705 gene was deleted in different strains of T. saccharolyticum. In wild-type T. saccharolyticum, deletion of tsac_1705 resulted in a 75% loss of NADH-FNOR activity, which indicated that Tsac_1705 is the main NADH-FNOR in T. saccharolyticum. When both NADH- and NADPH-linked FNOR genes were deleted, the ethanol titer decreased and the ratio of ethanol to acetate approached unity, indicative of the absence of FNOR activity. As a result, we tested the effect of heterologous expression of Tsac_1705 in Clostridium thermocellum and found improvements in both the titer and the yield of ethanol.},
doi = {10.1128/AEM.02130-16},
journal = {Applied and Environmental Microbiology},
number = 24,
volume = 82,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

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  • We report that Thermoanaerobacter saccharolyticum is a thermophilic microorganism that has been engineered to produce ethanol at high titer (30–70 g/L) and greater than 90 % theoretical yield. However, few genes involved in pyruvate to ethanol production pathway have been unambiguously identified. In T. saccharolyticum, the products of six putative pfor gene clusters and one pfl gene may be responsible for the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl-CoA. To gain insights into the physiological roles of PFOR and PFL, we studied the effect of deletions of several genes thought to encode these activities. We found that that pyruvate ferredoxin oxidoreductase enzymemore » (PFOR) is encoded by the pforA gene and plays a key role in pyruvate dissimilation. We further demonstrated that pyruvate formate-lyase activity (PFL) is encoded by the pfl gene. Although the pfl gene is normally expressed at low levels, it is crucial for biosynthesis in T. saccharolyticum. In pforA deletion strains, pfl expression increased and was able to partially compensate for the loss of PFOR activity. Deletion of both pforA and pfl resulted in a strain that required acetate and formate for growth and produced lactate as the primary fermentation product, achieving 88 % theoretical lactate yield. PFOR encoded by Tsac_0046 and PFL encoded by Tsac_0628 are only two routes for converting pyruvate to acetyl-CoA in T. saccharolyticum. The physiological role of PFOR is pyruvate dissimilation, whereas that of PFL is supplying C1 units for biosynthesis.« less
  • Clostridium thermocellum ferments cellulose, is a promising candidate for ethanol production from cellulosic biomass, and has been the focus of studies aimed at improving ethanol yield. Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum ferments hemicellulose, but not cellulose, and has been engineered to produce ethanol at high yield and titer. Recent research has led to the identification of four genes in T. saccharolyticum involved in ethanol production: adhE, nfnA, nfnB and adhA. We introduced these genes into C. thermocellum and observed significant improvements to ethanol yield, titer, and productivity. The four genes alone, however, were insufficient to achieve in C. thermocellum the ethanol yields andmore » titers observed in engineered T. saccharolyticum strains, even when combined with gene deletions targeting hydrogen production. Here, this suggests that other parts of T. saccharolyticum metabolism may also be necessary to reproduce the high ethanol yield and titer phenotype in C. thermocellum.« less
    Cited by 4
  • Clostridium thermocellum ferments cellulose, is a promising candidate for ethanol production from cellulosic biomass, and has been the focus of studies aimed at improving ethanol yield. Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum ferments hemicellulose, but not cellulose, and has been engineered to produce ethanol at high yield and titer. Recent research has led to the identification of four genes in T. saccharolyticum involved in ethanol production: adhE, nfnA, nfnB and adhA. We introduced these genes into C. thermocellum and observed significant improvements to ethanol yield, titer, and productivity. The four genes alone, however, were insufficient to achieve in C. thermocellum the ethanol yields andmore » titers observed in engineered T. saccharolyticum strains, even when combined with gene deletions targeting hydrogen production. Here, this suggests that other parts of T. saccharolyticum metabolism may also be necessary to reproduce the high ethanol yield and titer phenotype in C. thermocellum.« less
    Cited by 4
  • The economical production of fuels and commodity chemicals from lignocellulose requires the utilization of both the cellulose and hemicellulose fractions. Xylanase enzymes allow greater utilization of hemicellulose while also increasing cellulose hydrolysis. Recent metabolic engineering efforts have resulted in a strain of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum that can convert C(5) and C(6) sugars, as well as insoluble xylan, into ethanol at high yield. To better understand the process of xylan solubilization in this organism, a series of targeted deletions were constructed in the homoethanologenic T. saccharolyticum strain M0355 to characterize xylan hydrolysis and xylose utilization in this organism. While the deletion ofmore » -xylosidase xylD slowed the growth of T. saccharolyticum on birchwood xylan and led to an accumulation of short-chain xylo-oligomers, no other single deletion, including the deletion of the previously characterized endoxylanase XynA, had a phenotype distinct from that of the wild type. This result indicates a multiplicity of xylanase enzymes which facilitate xylan degradation in T. saccharolyticum. Growth on xylan was prevented only when a previously uncharacterized endoxylanase encoded by xynC was also deleted in conjunction with xynA. Sequence analysis of xynC indicates that this enzyme, a low-molecular-weight endoxylanase with homology to glycoside hydrolase family 11 enzymes, is secreted yet untethered to the cell wall. Together, these observations expand our understanding of the enzymatic basis of xylan hydrolysis by T. saccharolyticum.« less
  • BACKGROUND: Cellulose is highly recalcitrant and thus requires a specialized suite of enzymes to solubilize it into fermentable sugars. In C. thermocellum, these extracellular enzymes are present as a highly active multi-component system known as the cellulosome. This study explores the expression of a critical C. thermocellum cellulosomal component in T. saccharolyticum as a step toward creating a thermophilic bacterium capable of consolidated bioprocessing by employing heterologously expressed cellulosomes. RESULTS: We developed an inducible promoter system based on the native T. saccharolyticum xynA promoter, which was shown to be induced by xylan and xylose. The promoter was used to expressmore » the cellulosomal component cipA*, an engineered form of the wild-type cipA from C. thermocellum. Expression and localization to the supernatant were both verified for CipA*. When a cipA mutant C. thermocellum strain was cultured with a CipA*-expressing T. saccharolyticum strain, hydrolysis and fermentation of 10 grams per liter SigmaCell 101, a highly crystalline cellulose, were observed. This trans-species complementation of a cipA deletion demonstrated the ability for CipA* to assemble a functional cellulosome. CONCLUSION: This study is the first example of an engineered thermophile heterologously expressing a structural component of a cellulosome. To achieve this goal we developed and tested an inducible promoter for controlled expression in T. saccharolyticum as well as a synthetic cipA. In addition, we demonstrate a high degree of hydrolysis (up to 93%) on microcrystalline cellulose.« less