Cloning and functional expression of three xylanase genes from Aspergillus fumigatus in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Borchardt, Jane (2013-03)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Lignocellulose, which is composed of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, is the main structural component of plant cell walls. Xylan is the main structural component of hemicellulose. Xylan is a complex heteropolysaccharide and, therefore, requires numerous synergistically acting enzymes for its complete hydrolysis. The focus of this study was on xylanases, which is a main chain cleaving enzyme required for xylan hydrolysis. Xylanases have numerous industrial applications and are commonly used in the biofuels, pulp and paper, food, animal feed and textile industries. Of particular interest is the use of xylanases in the biofuels industry due to the depletion of fossil fuels. A major bottleneck is, however, the low yield and high cost of the enzymatic hydrolysis process. In this study, three different xylanase genes from Aspergillus fumigatus, isolated from a triticale compost heap, were cloned and expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This yeast is an attractive host for the expression of these heterologous proteins, since A. fumigatus is considered a human pathogen and would not be suited for large-scale enzyme production. The recombinant xylanases obtained in this study were functional after expression in the yeast host and yielded high levels of enzyme activity, ranging from 100 to 300 nkat/mg dry cell weight (DCW). Higher enzyme yields will reduce the overall cost of the enzymatic hydrolysis process, making these enzymes attractive to the biofuels industry. The recombinant xylanases obtained in this study were also free of other cellulases. This characteristic makes these enzymes attractive to the pulp and paper industry as cellulose fibres are required to remain intact. Two of the recombinant xylanases, F10 and F11, were relatively stable at a temperature of 50°C with pH optima at pH 6, while the recombinant xylanase G1 only maintained half of its activity at this temperature and displayed pH optimum at pH 5. No synergistic effect was observed between the recombinant xylanases in this study. Future studies could investigate the synergistic interaction between these recombinant xylanases and other accessory enzymes used for the degradation of xylan, such as the esterases. Xylan hydrolysis levels could increase significantly due to a synergistic effect, which would further reduce the overall cost of the lignocellulose enzyme hydrolysis process.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Lignosellulose, saamgestel uit sellulose, hemisellulose en lignien, vorm die hoof strukturele bestanddeel van plantselwande. Xilaan is die hoof strukturele komponent van hemisellulose. Xilaan is ʼn komplekse hetero-polisakkaried en verskeie saamwerkende ensieme vir volledige hidroliese hiervan word benodig. Die fokus van hierdie studie is op xilinases, die hoof kettingbrekende-ensiem vir xilaan hidroliese. Xilinases het verskeie industriële toepassings onder meer in die biobrandstof-, papier en pulp-, voedsel-, dierevoeding- en tekstielindustrieë. Weens die uitputting van fossielbrandstofreserwes word xilinases in die biobrandstof industrie van groot waarde geag. Lae opbrengste en hoë kostes van die ensiemhidroliese proses bly egter ʼn knelpunt. In hierdie studie is drie verskillende xilinase gene vanuit ʼn tritikale komposhoop Aspergillus fumigatus isolaat gekloneer en in Saccharomyces cerevisiae uitgedruk. Gis is ʼn aanloklike gasheer vir die uitdrukking van hierdie heteroloë proteïne aangesien A. fumigatus as menspatogeen nie vir grootskaalse ensiemproduksie geskik is nie. Die rekombinante xilinases verkry in hierdie studie is funksioneel in die gis gasheer uitgedruk en hoë vlakke ensiemaktiwiteit is verkry, van 100 tot 300 nkat/mg droë sel massa (DSM). In die lig van hoër ensiemopbrengste wat die totale koste van die ensiem hidroliese proses verlaag, word die ensieme in hierdie studie aanloklik vir die biobrandstof industrie. Die rekombinante ensieme in hierdie studie verkry is ook vry van ander sellulases, ʼn eienskap wat van waarde is vir die papier en pulp industrie waar die sellulose vesels intak moet bly. Twee van die rekombinante xilinases, F10 en F11, was relatief stabiel by ʼn temperatuur van 50°C met ‘n pH optimum van pH 6, terwyl die rekombinante xilinase G1 slegs die helfte van sy aktiwitieit by hierdie temperatuur kon behou met ʼn pH optimum van pH 5. Geen samewerkende effek kon tussen die drie rekombinante xilinases waargeneem word nie. Toekomstige studies kan die samewerkende effek tussen hierdie rekombinante xilinases en bykomstige ensieme betrokke by xilaanafbraak, soos byvoorbeeld die esterases, ondersoek. Xilaanhidroliese vlakke kan aansienlik as gevolg van hierdie samewerkende effek verhoog, wat die koste van ensiem hidroliese van lignosellulose verder kan verlaag.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/79967
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