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Datamining and functional environmental genomics reassess the phylogenetics and functional diversity of fungal monosaccharide transporters

Abstract : Sugar transporters are essential components of carbon metabolism and have been extensively studied to control sugar uptake by yeasts and filamentous fungi used in fermentation processes. Based on published information on characterized fungal sugar porters, we show that this protein family encompasses phylogenetically distinct clades. While several clades encompass transporters that seemingly specialized on specific "sugar-related" molecules (e.g., myo-inositol, charged sugar analogs), others include mostly either mono- or di/oligosaccharide low-specificity transporters. To address the issue of substrate specificity of sugar transporters, that protein primary sequences do not fully reveal, we screened "multi-species" soil eukaryotic cDNA libraries for mannose transporters, a sugar that had never been used to select transporters. We obtained 19 environmental transporters, mostly from Basidiomycota and Ascomycota. Among them, one belonged to the unusual "Fucose H+ Symporter" family, which is only known in Fungi for a rhamnose transporter in Aspergillus niger. Functional analysis of the 19 transporters by expression in yeast and for two of them in Xenopus laevis oocytes for electrophysiological measurements indicated that most of them showed a preference for D-mannose over other tested D-C6 (glucose, fructose, galactose) or D-C5 (xylose) sugars. For the several glucose and fructose-negative transporters, growth of the corresponding recombinant yeast strains was prevented on mannose in the presence of one of these sugars that may act by competition for the binding site. Our results highlight the potential of environmental genomics to figure out the functional diversity of key fungal protein families and that can be explored in a context of biotechnology. KEY POINTS: • Most fungal sugar transporters accept several sugars as substrates. • Transporters, belonging to 2 protein families, were isolated from soil cDNA libraries. • Environmental transporters featured novel substrate specificities.
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Contributor : Chantal Baracco <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 3:35:06 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 6:37:02 PM


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Florian Barbi, Laurent Vallon, Carmen Guerrero-Galán, Sabine D. Zimmermann, Delphine Melayah, et al.. Datamining and functional environmental genomics reassess the phylogenetics and functional diversity of fungal monosaccharide transporters. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Springer Verlag, In press, 105 (2), pp.647-660. ⟨10.1007/s00253-020-11076-y⟩. ⟨hal-03098260⟩



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