Poorinmohammad N, Fu J, Wabeke B, Kerkhoven EJ
Int J Mol Sci 23 (15) - [2022-07-31; online 2022-07-31]
Given the strong potential of Yarrowia lipolytica to produce lipids for use as renewable fuels and oleochemicals, it is important to gain in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying its lipid accumulation. As cellular growth rate affects biomass lipid content, we performed a comparative proteomic analysis of Y. lipolytica grown in nitrogen-limited chemostat cultures at different dilution rates. After confirming the correlation between growth rate and lipid accumulation, we were able to identify various cellular functions and biological mechanisms involved in oleaginousness. Inspection of significantly up- and downregulated proteins revealed nonintuitive processes associated with lipid accumulation in this yeast. This included proteins related to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, ER-plasma membrane tether proteins, and arginase. Genetic engineering of selected targets validated that some genes indeed affected lipid accumulation. They were able to increase lipid content and were complementary to other genetic engineering strategies to optimize lipid yield.