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Metabolic engineering of Yarrowia lipolytica for alkene production with P450 decarboxylases of a newly discovered cluster

Grant number: 22/13822-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2023
Effective date (End): October 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Enzymology
Principal Investigator:Leticia Maria Zanphorlin
Grantee:Isabelle Taira Simões
Supervisor: Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro
Host Institution: Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CNPEM). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brasil). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Imperial College London, England  
Associated to the scholarship:21/14410-2 - Study of P450 enzymes of the CYP152 family able to promote the decarboxylation of fatty acids, BP.MS


In recent years, the need for developing sustainable chemicals as alternatives for replacing petroleum products has grown, due to rising concerns around environmental issues and sustainability. Thus, the microbial production of biochemicals emerges as one potential alternative route, as it has the advantage of converting agricultural waste and renewable sources into molecules of great added value. The so-called oleaginous yeasts are considered the most suitable chassis for biofuel production owing to their ability to accumulate high amounts of lipids. One of the most studied oleaginous yeasts is Yarrowia lipolytica, due to its notable physiological and biotechnological characteristics, and the existence of molecular tools for genomic manipulation. Studies have already demonstrated the potential of Y. lipolytica to produce biofuels employing heterologous enzymes that catalyse the decarboxylation of fatty acids, resulting in hydrocarbons, the main constituent of petroleum derivatives. Despite the great biotechnological potential that decarboxylases represent and the possibility of an ecological way of hydrocarbon production using oleaginous yeasts as chassis, few enzymes have already been explored in the construction of metabolic pathways using fatty acids as substrates. One class of enzymes capable of catalysing fatty acid decarboxylation is the cytochrome P450 peroxygenases from family CYP152. In this sense, this project aims to produce alkenes by expressing new cytochromes P450 peroxygenases from a new cluster never explored before using the oleaginous yeast Y. lipolytica. (AU)

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