Synthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoate in the peroxisome of Pichia pastoris

Authors

  • Yves Poirier,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratoire de Biotechnologie Végétale, Institut d'Ecologie, Université de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
      *Corresponding author. Tel.: +41 (21) 692 4222; Fax: +41 (21) 692 4195, E-mail: yves.poirier@ie-bpv.unil.ch
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  • Nadine Erard,

    1. Laboratoire de Biotechnologie Végétale, Institut d'Ecologie, Université de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
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  • Jean MacDonald-Comber Petétot

    1. Laboratoire de Biotechnologie Végétale, Institut d'Ecologie, Université de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
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*Corresponding author. Tel.: +41 (21) 692 4222; Fax: +41 (21) 692 4195, E-mail: yves.poirier@ie-bpv.unil.ch

Abstract

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are polyesters naturally produced by bacteria that have properties of biodegradable plastics and elastomers. A PHA synthase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa modified at the carboxy-end for peroxisomal targeting was transformed in Pichia pastoris. The PHA synthase was expressed under the control of the promoter of the P. pastoris acyl-CoA oxidase gene. Synthesis of up to 1% medium-chain-length PHA per g dry weight was dependent on both the expression of the PHA synthase and the presence of oleic acid in the medium. PHA accumulated as inclusions within the peroxisomes. P. pastoris could be used as a model system to study how peroxisomal metabolism needs to be modified to increase PHA production in other eukaryotes, such as plants.

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