Maltotriose is the second most abundant fermentable sugar in wort and, due to incomplete fermentation, residual maltotriose in beer causes both quality and economic problems in the brewing industry. To identify genes that might improve utilization of maltotriose, we developed a library containing genomic DNA from four lager strains and a laboratory Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain and isolated transformants that could grow on YP/2% maltotriose in the presence of 3 mg/l of the respiratory inhibitor antimycin A. In this way we found a gene which shared 74% similarity with MPH2 and MPH3, 62% similarity with AGT1 and 91% similarity with MAL61 and MAL31, all encoding known maltose transporters. Moreover, the gene shared an even higher similarity (98%) with the uncharacterized Saccharomyces pastorianus mty1 gene (M. Salema-Oom, unpublished; NCBI Accession No. AJ491328). Therefore, we named the gene MTT1 (mty1-like transporter). We showed that the gene was present in four different lager strains but was absent from the laboratory strain CEN.PK113-7D. The ORF in the plasmid isolated from the library lacks 66 base pairs from the 3'-end of MTT1 but instead contains 54 bp of the vector. We named this ORF MTT1alt (NCBI Accession No. DQ010174). (14)C-Maltose and repurified (14)C-maltotriose were used to show that MTT1 and, especially, MTT1alt, encode maltose transporters for which the ratio between activities to maltotriose and maltose is higher than for most known maltose transporters. Introduction of MTT1 or MTT1alt into lager strain A15 raised maltotriose uptake by about 17% or 105%, respectively. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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