Engineered cell differentiation and sexual reproduction in probiotic and mating yeasts

Emil D. Jensen*, Marcus Deichmann, Xin Ma, Rikke U. Vilandt, Giovanni Schiesaro, Marie B. Rojek, Bettina Lengger, Line Eliasson, Justin M. Vento, Deniz Durmusoglu, Sandie P. Hovmand, Ibrahim Al’Abri, Jie Zhang, Nathan Crook, Michael K. Jensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) enable cells to sense environmental cues and are indispensable for coordinating vital processes including quorum sensing, proliferation, and sexual reproduction. GPCRs comprise the largest class of cell surface receptors in eukaryotes, and for more than three decades the pheromone-induced mating pathway in baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has served as a model for studying heterologous GPCRs (hGPCRs). Here we report transcriptome profiles following mating pathway activation in native and hGPCR-signaling yeast and use a model-guided approach to correlate gene expression to morphological changes. From this we demonstrate mating between haploid cells armed with hGPCRs and endogenous biosynthesis of their cognate ligands. Furthermore, we devise a ligand-free screening strategy for hGPCR compatibility with the yeast mating pathway and enable hGPCR-signaling in the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii. Combined, our findings enable new means to study mating, hGPCR-signaling, and cell-cell communication in a model eukaryote and yeast probiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6201
JournalNature Communications
Volume13
Number of pages15
ISSN2041-1723
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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