Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells lacking the zinc vacuolar transporter Zrt3 display improved ethanol productivity in lignocellulosic hydrolysates
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/3258
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2309-608X/8/1/78
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Yeast-based bioethanol production from lignocellulosic hydrolysates (LH) is an attractive and sustainable alternative for biofuel production. However, the presence of acetic acid (AA) in LH is still a major problem. Indeed, above certain concentrations, AA inhibits yeast fermentation and triggers a regulated cell death (RCD) process mediated by the mitochondria and vacuole. Understanding the mechanisms involved in AA-induced RCD (AA-RCD) may thus help select robust fermentative yeast strains, providing novel insights to improve lignocellulosic ethanol (LE) production. Herein, we hypothesized that zinc vacuolar transporters are involved in vacuole-mediated AA-RCD, since zinc enhances ethanol production and zinc-dependent catalase and superoxide dismutase protect from AA-RCD. In this work, zinc limitation sensitized wild-type cells to AA-RCD, while zinc supplementation resulted in a small protective effect. Cells lacking the vacuolar zinc transporter Zrt3 were highly resistant to AA-RCD, exhibiting reduced vacuolar dysfunction. Moreover, zrt3Δ cells displayed higher ethanol productivity than their wild-type counterparts, both when cultivated in rich medium with AA (0.29 g L−1 h−1 versus 0.11 g L−1 h−1) and in an LH (0.73 g L−1 h−1 versus 0.55 g L−1 h−1). Overall, the deletion of ZRT3 emerges as a promising strategy to increase strain robustness in LE industrial production.
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