Efficient production of (S)-limonene and geraniol in Saccharomyces cerevisiae through the utilization of an Erg20 mutant with enhanced GPP accumulation capability


Metab Eng. 2024 Apr 15:S1096-7176(24)00057-0. doi: 10.1016/j.ymben.2024.04.003. Online ahead of print.


Monoterpenes and monoterpenoids such as (S)-limonene and geraniol are valuable chemicals with a wide range of applications, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and biofuels. Saccharomyces cerevisiae has proven to be an effective host to produce various terpenes and terpenoids. (S)-limonene and geraniol are produced from geranyl pyrophosphate (GPP) through the enzymatic actions of limonene synthase (LS) and geraniol synthase (GES), respectively. However, a major hurdle in their production arises from the dual functionality of the Erg20, a farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) synthase, responsible for generating GPP. Erg20 not only synthesizes GPP by condensing isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) with dimethylallyl pyrophosphate but also catalyzes further condensation of IPP with GPP to produce FPP. In this study, we have tackled this issue by harnessing previously developed Erg20 mutants, Erg20K197G (Erg20G) and Erg20F96W, N127W (Erg20WW), which enhance GPP accumulation. Through a combination of these mutants, we generated a novel Erg20WWG mutant with over four times higher GPP accumulating capability than Erg20WW, as observed through geraniol production levels. The Erg20WWG mutant was fused to the LS from Mentha spicata or the GES from Catharanthus roseus for efficient conversion of GPP to (S)-limonene and geraniol, respectively. Further improvements were achieved by localizing the entire mevalonate pathway and the Erg20WWG-fused enzymes in peroxisomes, while simultaneously downregulating the essential ERG20 gene using the glucose-sensing HXT1 promoter. In the case of (S)-limonene production, additional Erg20WWG-LS was expressed in the cytosol. As a result, the final strains produced 1,063 mg/L of (S)-limonene and 1,234 mg/L of geraniol by fed-batch biphasic fermentations with ethanol feeding. The newly identified Erg20WWG mutant opens doors for the efficient production of various other GPP-derived chemicals including monoterpene derivatives and cannabinoids.

PMID:38631459 | DOI:10.1016/j.ymben.2024.04.003