Why transporters really matter for cell factories

phys.org | 7/22/2019 | Staff
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In a new study published in PNAS, scientists from The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain) explored how different cell membrane transporters impact the production of dicarboxylic acids.

Currently, one of the problems in industrial biotechnology is that the transporters use too much energy on export, which decreases the overall product yield.

Transporter - Proteins - Transport - Molecules - Membranes

Transporter proteins are responsible for the transport of molecules across the cellular membranes. Transport processes are crucial for the growth of the cell and for the production of industrially relevant metabolites. The transport of organic acids typically requires energy.

"If you spend a lot of energy on export it will be more expensive to produce your compound, so from an industrial perspective it is very important to understand which role these transporter proteins play," says Irina Borodina, Senior Researcher and Group Leader at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain).

Scientists - Transporters - MAE1 - Schizosaccharomyces - Pombe

The scientists found that some transporters, such as MAE1 from Schizosaccharomyces pombe and DCT from Aspergillus carbonarius, improved the secretion of dicarboxylic acids in baker's yeast several fold, while not affecting the cellular growth. This came as a surprise to the researchers and made them speculate whether such transporters could possess a mechanism that allows them to use less energy.

The scientists discovered that these efficient transporters belong to the voltage-dependent slow-anion channel transporter (SLAC1) clade, which also encompasses plant transporters involved in stomata closure. In contrast...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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