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Elevation of the Yields of Very Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids via Minimal Codon Optimization of Two Key Biosynthetic Enzymes

Xia, F, Li, X, Li, X, Zheng, D, Sun, Q, Liu, J, Li, Y, Hua, J and Qi, B (2016) Elevation of the Yields of Very Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids via Minimal Codon Optimization of Two Key Biosynthetic Enzymes. PLoS One, 11 (7). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5Δ5,8,11,14,17) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6Δ4,7,10,13,16,19) are nutritionally beneficial to human health. Transgenic production of EPA and DHA in oilseed crops by transferring genes originating from lower eukaryotes, such as microalgae and fungi, has been attempted in recent years. However, the low yield of EPA and DHA produced in these transgenic crops is a major hurdle for the commercialization of these transgenics. Many factors can negatively affect transgene expression, leading to a low level of converted fatty acid products. Among these the codon bias between the transgene donor and the host crop is one of the major contributing factors. Therefore, we carried out codon optimization of a fatty acid delta-6 desaturase gene PinD6 from the fungus Phytophthora infestans, and a delta-9 elongase gene, IgASE1 from the microalga Isochrysis galbana for expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis respectively. These are the two key genes encoding enzymes for driving the first catalytic steps in the Δ6 desaturation/ Δ6 elongation and the Δ9 elongation/Δ8 desaturation pathways for EPA/DHA biosynthesis. Hence expression levels of these two genes are important in determining the final yield of EPA/DHA. Via PCR-based mutagenesis we optimized the least preferred codons within the first 16 codons at their N-termini, as well as the most biased CGC codons (coding for arginine) within the entire sequences of both genes. An expression study showed that transgenic Arabidopsis plants harbouring the codon-optimized IgASE1 contained 64% more elongated fatty acid products than plants expressing the native IgASE1 sequence, whilst Saccharomyces cerevisiae expressing the codon optimized PinD6 yielded 20 times more desaturated products than yeast expressing wild-type (WT) PinD6. Thus the codon optimization strategy we developed here offers a simple, effective and low-cost alternative to whole gene synthesis for high expression of foreign genes in yeast and Arabidopsis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Science & Technology; Multidisciplinary Sciences; Science & Technology - Other Topics; HETEROLOGOUS PROTEIN EXPRESSION; ESCHERICHIA-COLI; PICHIA-PASTORIS; ARABIDOPSIS-THALIANA; TRANSGENIC OILSEEDS; ISOCHRYSIS-GALBANA; GENE; USAGE; PLANTS; TRANSFORMATION
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2019 08:29
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2019 08:30
DOI or Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158103
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11457

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