Fatty Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Multigene Family Involved in the Assimilation of n-Alkanes in Yarrowia lipolytica [Metabolism]

October 14th, 2014 by Iwama, R., Kobayashi, S., Ohta, A., Horiuchi, H., Fukuda, R.

In the n-alkane assimilating yeast Yarrowia lipolytica, n-alkanes are oxidized to fatty acids via fatty alcohols and fatty aldehydes, after which they are utilized as carbon sources. Here, we show that four genes (HFD1-HFD4) encoding fatty aldehyde dehydrogenases (FALDHs) are involved in the metabolism of n-alkanes in Y. lipolytica. A mutant, in which all of four HFD genes are deleted (Δhfd1-4 strain), could not grow on n-alkanes of 12-18 carbons; however the expression of one of those HFD genes restored its growth on n-alkanes. Production of Hfd2Ap or Hfd2Bp, translation products of transcript variants generated from HFD2 by the absence or presence of splicing, also supported the growth of the Δhfd1-4 strain on n-alkanes. The FALDH activity in the extract of the wild-type strain was increased when cells were incubated in the presence of n-decane, while this elevation in FALDH activity by n-decane was not observed in the extract of the Δhfd1-4 strain. Substantial FALDH activities were detected in the extracts of Escherichia coli cells expressing the HFD genes. Fluorescent microscopic observation suggests that Hfd3p and Hfd2Bp are localized predominantly in the peroxisome, while Hfd1p and Hfd2Ap are localized in both the endoplasmic reticulum and the peroxisome. These results suggest that the HFD multigene family is responsible for the oxidation of fatty aldehydes to fatty acids in the metabolism of n-alkanes, and raise the possibility that the Hfd proteins have diversified by gene multiplication and RNA splicing to efficiently assimilate or detoxify fatty aldehydes in Y. lipolytica.