Project: Novel eukaryotic expression systems for food enzymes.

Enzymes do play a prominent role in the food industry. Some of them are extracted from animal or plant sources, but most enzymes are produced with genetically modified organisms, such as the Bacillus sp. and Aspergillus sp.. Almost all food relevant enzymes currently produced recombinantly are of bacterial or fungal origin. Nevertheless, higher eukaryotic sources likes plants, animals and insects are attracting increasing interest. However, the recombinant production of these enzymes from higher eukaryotes in bacterial and ascomycetous hosts may cause severe problems (post-translational modifications, proteolytic digestion etc.). Therefore, a novel eukaryotic expression system based on an edible mushroom as expression host for food relevant enzymes shall be established. Most mushrooms belong to the class of basidiomycetes, which are the highest developed fungi, and some are known as delicatesse. Two model basidiomycetes (Pleurotus ostreatus and Coprinopsis cinerea) which are known and consumed worldwide as mushrooms and which are genetically accessible will be used. Their genomes are available, and first transformation protocols exist. In the project, a focus will be on the recombinant expression of peptidases, a class of enzymes which is used in diverse food industries. For this purpose, we will develop plasmids for the expression of interesting enzymes from eukaryotic sources (insects and basidiomycetes) of which several candidate genes are available at partners of the proposed project. At the end of the project, a new expression system based on basidiomycetes, in our case adapted to P. ostreatus and C. cinerea, will be available for production of food relevant enzymes in an adequate amount. The working plan of the project will comprise plasmid design, fungal transformation, screening of positive transformants, characterisation of recombinant peptidases, optimisation of lab scale production and technical scale production.

Acronym PEPEX
Network ETB-PRO
Call 8th call for proposals (Call 2013)

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Germany Germany
TRIS Coordinator Russia