Yeast to directly convert cellulose and, especially, the microcrystalline cellulose into bioethanol, was engineered through display of minicellulosomes on the cell surface of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The construction and cell surface attachment of cellulosomes were accomplished with two individual miniscaffoldins to increase the display level. All of the cellulases including a celCCA (endoglucanase), a celCCE (cellobiohydrolase), and a Ccel_2454 (?-glucosidase) were cloned from Clostridium cellulolyticum, ensuring the thermal compatibility between cellulose hydrolysis and yeast fermentation. Cellulases and one of miniscaffoldins were secreted by a-factor; thus, the assembly and attachment to anchoring miniscaffoldin were accomplished extracellularly. Immunofluorescence microscopy, flow cytometric analysis (FACS), and cellulosic ethanol fermentation confirmed the successful display of such complex on the yeast surface. Enzyme-enzyme synergy, enzyme-proximity synergy, and cellulose-enzyme-cell synergy were analyzed, and the length of anchoring miniscaffoldin was optimized. The engineered S. cerevisiae was applied in fermentation of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), phosphoric acid-swollen cellulose (PASC), or Avicel. It showed a significant hydrolytic activity toward microcrystalline cellulose, with an ethanol titer of 1,412 mg/L. This indicates that simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of crystalline cellulose to ethanol can be accomplished by the yeast, engineered with minicellulosome.
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