Statins are inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase, the key enzyme in cholesterol biosynthesis. Their extensive use in treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases placed statins among the best selling drugs. Construction of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell factory for the production of high concentrations of natural statins will require establishment of a non-destructive self-resistance mechanism to overcome the undesirable growth inhibition effects of statins. To establish active export of statins from yeast, and thereby detoxification, we integrated a putative efflux pump-encoding gene mlcE from the mevastatin-producing Penicillium citrinum into the S. cerevisiae genome. The resulting strain showed increased resistance to both natural statins (mevastatin and lovastatin) and semi-synthetic statin (simvastatin) when compared to the wild type strain. Expression of RFP-tagged mlcE showed that MlcE is localized to the yeast plasma and vacuolar membranes. We provide a possible engineering strategy for improvement of future yeast based production of natural and semi-synthetic statins.
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- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Cell factory