Enhanced cellulase production from Trichoderma reesei Rut-C30 by engineering with an artificial zinc finger protein library.Biotechnol J. 2016 Oct; 11(10):1282-1290.BJ
Trichoderma reesei Rut-C30 is a well-known cellulase producer, and improvement of its cellulase production is of great interest. An artificial zinc finger protein (AZFP) library is constructed for expression in T. reesei Rut-C30, and a mutant strain T. reesei U3 is selected based on its enhanced cellulase production. The U3 mutant shows a 55% rise in filter paper activity and 8.1-fold increased β-glucosidase activity, when compared to the native strain T. reesei Rut-C30. It is demonstrated that enhanced β-glucosidase activity was due to elevated transcription level of β-glucosidase gene in the U3 mutant. Moreover, significant elevation in transcription levels of several putative Azfp-U3 target genes is detected in the U3 mutant, including genes encoding hypothetical transcription factors and a putative glycoside hydrolase. Furthermore, U3 cellulase shows 115% higher glucose yield from pretreated corn stover, when compared to the cellulase of T. reesei Rut-C30. These results demonstrate that AZFP can be used to improve cellulase production in T. reesei Rut-C30. Our current work offers the establishment of an alternative strategy to develop fungal cell factories for improved production of high value industrial products.