Aspergillus luchuensis mut. kawachii produces a large amount of citric acid during the process of fermenting shochu, a traditional Japanese distilled spirit. In this study, we characterized A. kawachii CtpA and YhmA, which are homologous to the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondrial citrate transporters Ctp1 and Yhm2, respectively. CtpA and YhmA were purified from A. kawachii and reconstituted into liposomes. The proteoliposomes exhibited only counterexchange transport activity; CtpA transported citrate using counter substrates especially for cis-aconitate and malate, whereas YhmA transported citrate using a wider variety of counter substrates, including citrate, 2-oxoglutarate, malate, cis-aconitate, and succinate. Disruption of ctpA and yhmA caused deficient hyphal growth and conidia formation with reduced mycelial weight–normalized citrate production. Because we could not obtain a ?ctpA ?yhmA strain, we constructed a ctpA-S conditional expression strain in the ?yhmA background using the Tet-On promoter system. Knockdown of ctpA-S in ?yhmA resulted in a severe growth defect on minimal medium with a significantly reduced acetyl-CoA level, indicating that double disruption of ctpA and yhmA leads to synthetic lethality; however, we subsequently found that the severe growth defect was relieved by addition of acetate, which can be converted to acetyl-CoA. Our results indicate that CtpA and YhmA are mitochondrial citrate transporters involved in citric acid production and that transport of citrate from mitochondria to the cytosol plays an important role in acetyl-CoA biogenesis in A. kawachii.
Full conference title:
- Fungal Genetics Conference 30th (2019)