Zhengming Zhu, Tongrong Zhang, Zhihan Yang, Juan Zhang

Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals the contribution of amino acid transporters to acid tolerance in Lactococcus lactis

  • Food Science

AbstractAmino acid transporters are promising targets for engineering acid‐tolerant strains of Lactococcus lactis. However, the simple overexpression of transporters alone is insufficient to achieve a highly acid‐resistant phenotype. This study investigated the effects of amino acid transporters on the acid‐stress tolerance of L. lactis. Here, we first verified the contribution of amino acid transporters to acid tolerance by overexpressing the ctrA, glnP, and glnQ genes in L. lactis. Transcriptome analysis revealed that most genes associated with specific amino acid transport, pyrimidine metabolism, and functional proteins, were upregulated in the overexpression strains. Among them, arginine biosynthesis (argG and argH), amino acid transport (yjeM and azlC), and pyrimidine metabolism were considered to be the most important regulatory mechanisms. Importantly, metabolite profiling revealed that the overexpression strains had higher intracellular levels of amino acids, particularly aspartate, glutamate, and arginine at low pH, as well as higher intracellular ATP levels, which was consistent with the corresponding gene‐expression levels. Finally, the simultaneous overexpression of glnP and glnQ led to a further improvement of acid tolerance in L. lactis. This study reveals the regulatory mechanisms of amino acid transporters, and provides a novel strategy for achieving higher acid tolerance via positive tandem expression approaches.

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