Four Inducible Promoters for Controlled Gene Expression in the Oleaginous Yeast Rhodotorula toruloides
Frontiers in Microbiology
Copyright © 2016 Johns, Love and Aves. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Rhodotorula (Rhodosporidium) toruloides is an oleaginous yeast with great biotechnological potential, capable of accumulating lipid up to 70% of its dry biomass, and of carotenoid biosynthesis. However, few molecular genetic tools are available for manipulation of this basidiomycete yeast and its high genomic GC content can make routine cloning difficult. We have developed plasmid vectors for transformation of R. toruloides which include elements for Saccharomyces cerevisiae in-yeast assembly; this method is robust to the assembly of GC-rich DNA and of large plasmids. Using such vectors we screened for controllable promoters, and identified inducible promoters from the genes NAR1, ICL1, CTR3, and MET16. These four promoters have independent induction/repression conditions and exhibit different levels and rates of induction in R. toruloides, making them appropriate for controllable transgene expression in different experimental situations. Nested deletions were used to identify regulatory regions in the four promoters, and to delimit the minimal inducible promoters, which are as small as 200 bp for the NAR1 promoter. The NAR1 promoter shows very tight regulation under repressed conditions as determined both by an EGFP reporter gene and by conditional rescue of a leu2 mutant. These new tools facilitate molecular genetic manipulation and controllable gene expression in R. toruloides.
This work was supported by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council doctoral training partnership award BB/J014400/1 to AJ.
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Vol. 7, article 1666
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