Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Cataldo V.F., Arenas N., Salgado V., Camilo C., Ibáñez F., Agosín E. (2020)

Heterologous production of the epoxycarotenoid violaxanthin in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Revista : Metabolic Engineering
Volumen : 59
Páginas : 53-63
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Microbial production of carotenoids has mainly focused towards a few products, such as β-carotene, lycopene and astaxanthin. However, other less explored carotenoids, like violaxanthin, have also shown unique properties and promissory applications. Violaxanthin is a plant-derived epoxidated carotenoid with strong antioxidant activity and a key precursor of valuable compounds, such as fucoxanthin and β-damascenone. In this study, we report for the first time the heterologous production of epoxycarotenoids in yeast. We engineered the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae following multi-level strategies for the efficient accumulation of violaxanthin. Starting from a β-carotenogenic yeast strain, we first evaluated the performance of several β-carotene hydroxylases (CrtZ), and zeaxanthin epoxidases (ZEP) from different species, together with their respective N-terminal truncated variants. The combined expression of CrtZ from Pantoea ananatis and truncated ZEP of Haematococcus lacustris showed the best performance and led to a yield of 1.6 mg/gDCW of violaxanthin. Further improvement of the epoxidase activity was achieved by promoting the transfer of reducing equivalents to ZEP by expressing several redox partner systems. The co-expression of the plant truncated ferredoxin-3, and truncated root fer- redoxin oxidoreductase-1 resulted in a 2.2-fold increase in violaxanthin yield (3.2 mg/gDCW). Finally, increasing gene copy number of carotenogenic genes enabled reaching a final production of 7.3 mg/gDCW in shake flask cultures and batch bioreactors, which is the highest yield of microbially produced violaxanthin reported to date.