Cre/lox-Mediated Chromosomal Integration of Biosynthetic Gene Clusters for Heterologous Expression in Aspergillus nidulans

ACS Synth Biol. 2022 Feb 16. doi: 10.1021/acssynbio.1c00458. Online ahead of print.


Building strains of filamentous fungi for stable long-term heterologous expression of large biosynthetic pathways is limited by the low transformation efficiency or genetic stability of current methods. Here, we developed a system for targeted chromosomal integration of large biosynthetic gene clusters in Aspergillus nidulans based on site-specific recombinase-mediated cassette exchange. We built A. nidulans strains harboring a chromosomal landing pad for Cre/lox-mediated recombination and demonstrated efficient targeted integration of a 21 kb DNA fragment in a single step. We further evaluated the integration at two loci by analyzing the expression of a fluorescent reporter and the production of a heterologous polyketide metabolite. We compared chromosomal expression at those landing loci to episomal AMA1-based expression, which also shed light on uncharacterized aspects of episomal expression in filamentous fungi. This is the first demonstration of site-specific recombinase-mediated integration in filamentous fungi, setting the foundations for the further development of this tool.

PMID:35168324 | DOI:10.1021/acssynbio.1c00458

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