© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The methanol-regulated alcohol oxidase promoter (PAOX1) of Pichia pastoris (syn. Komagataella spp.) is one of the strongest promoters for heterologous gene expression. Although increasing the gene dosage is a common strategy to improve recombinant protein productivities, P. pastoris strains harboring more than two copies of a Rhizopus oryzae lipase gene (ROL) have previously shown a decrease in cell growth, lipase production, and substrate consumption, as well as a significant transcriptional downregulation of methanol metabolism. This pointed to a potential titration effect of key transcriptional factors methanol expression regulator 1 (Mxr1) and methanol-induced transcription factor (Mit1) regulating methanol metabolism caused by the insertion of multiple expression vectors. To prove this hypothesis, a set of strains carrying one and four copies of ROL (1C and 4C, respectively) were engineered to coexpress one or two copies of MXR1*, coding for an Mxr1 variant insensitive to repression by 14-3-3 regulatory proteins, or one copy of MIT1. Small-scale cultures revealed that growth, Rol productivity, and methanol consumption were improved in the 4C-MXR1* and 4C-MIT1, strains growing on methanol as a sole carbon source, whereas only a slight increase in productivity was observed for re-engineered 1C strains. We further verified the improved performance of these strains in glycerol-/methanol-limited chemostat cultures.
- AOX1 promoter
- heterologous gene dosage
- methanol metabolism
- Pichia pastoris (Komagataella spp.)
- recombinant protein production
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