Functional characterization of the oxaloacetase encoding gene and elimination of oxalate formation in the beta-lactam producer Penicillium chrysogenum

Gombert, A. K., Veiga, T., Puig-Martinez, M., Lamboo, F., Nijland, J. G., Driessen, A. J. M., Pronk, J. T. & Daran, J. M., Aug-2011, In : Fungal Genetics and Biology. 48, 8, p. 831-839 9 p.

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Penicillium chrysogenum is widely used as an industrial antibiotic producer, in particular in the synthesis of g-lactam antibiotics such as penicillins and cephalosporins. In industrial processes, oxalic acid formation leads to reduced product yields. Moreover, precipitation of calcium oxalate complicates product recovery. We observed oxalate production in glucose-limited chemostat cultures of P. chrysogenum grown with or without addition of adipic acid, side-chain of the cephalosporin precursor adipoyl-6-aminopenicillinic acid (ad-6-APA). Oxalate accounted for up to 5% of the consumed carbon source. In filamentous fungi, oxaloacetate hydrolase (OAH; EC3.7.1.1) is generally responsible for oxalate production. The P. chrysogenum genome harbours four orthologs of the A. niger oahA gene. Chemostat-based transcriptome analyses revealed a significant correlation between extracellular oxalate titers and expression level of the genes Pc18g05100 and Pc22g24830. To assess their possible involvement in oxalate production, both genes were cloned in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, yeast that does not produce oxalate. Only the expression of Pc22g24830 led to production of oxalic acid in S. cerevisiae. Subsequent deletion of Pc22g28430 in P. chrysogenum led to complete elimination of oxalate production, whilst improving yields of the cephalosporin precursor ad-6-APA. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-839
Number of pages9
JournalFungal Genetics and Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2011


  • Penicillium chrysogenum, Oxalate, Oxaloacetate hydrolase, beta-Lactams, Chemostat-based transcriptomics, Metabolic engineering, ASPERGILLUS-NIGER, OXALIC-ACID, INDUSTRIAL STRAIN, METAL TOLERANCE, RING EXPANSION, FUNGI, BIOSYNTHESIS, SOLUBILIZATION, TRANSFORMATION, CONSTRUCTION

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