Engineering yeasts as platform organisms for cannabinoid biosynthesis.

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“Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is a plant derived secondary natural product from the plant Cannabis sativa l. The discovery of the human endocannabinoid system in the late 1980s resulted in a growing number of known physiological functions of both synthetic and plant derived cannabinoids. Thus, manifold therapeutic indications of cannabinoids currently comprise a significant area of research. Here we reconstituted the final biosynthetic cannabinoid pathway in yeasts. The use of the soluble prenyltransferase NphB from Streptomyces sp. strain CL190 enables the replacement of the native transmembrane prenyltransferase cannabigerolic acid synthase from C. sativa. In addition to the desired product cannabigerolic acid, NphB catalyzes an O-prenylation leading to 2-O-geranyl olivetolic acid. We show for the first time that the bacterial prenyltransferase and the final enzyme of the cannabinoid pathway tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase can both be actively expressed in the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Komagataella phaffii simultaneously. While enzyme activities in S. cerevisiae were insufficient to produce THCA from olivetolic acid and geranyl diphosphate, genomic multi-copy integrations of the enzyme’s coding sequences in K. phaffii resulted in successful synthesis of THCA from olivetolic acid and geranyl diphosphate. This study is an important step toward total biosynthesis of valuable cannabinoids and derivatives and demonstrates the potential for developing a sustainable and secure yeast bio-manufacturing platform.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28694184  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168165617315201

“Production of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid from cannabigerolic acid by whole cells of Pichia (Komagataella) pastoris expressing Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase from Cannabis sativa L.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25994576

“Scientists Engineer Yeast to Produce Active Marijuana Compound, THC”  https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-engineer-yeast-to-produce-active-marijuana-compound-thc

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