Stress effects caused by the expression of a mutant cellobiohydrolase I and proteasome inhibition in Trichoderma reesei Rut-C30

Liisa Kautto*, Jasmine Grinyer, Ian Paulsen, Sasha Tetu, Aneesh Pillai, Swapneel Pardiwalla, Ugur Sezerman, Gunseli Bayaram Akcapinar, Peter Bergquist, Junior Te'o, Helena Nevalainen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Trichoderma reesei Rut-C30 is used widely as an expression host for various gene products. We have explored cellular effects caused by the expression of a mutant form of cellobiohydrolase I (CBHI), the major secreted protein of T. reesei using biochemical and transcriptomic analyses and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The mutated CBHI was tagged fluorescently with Venus to establish the subcellular location of the fusion protein and its potential association with the proteasome, an organelle assigned for the disposal of misfolded proteins. Expression of the mutant CBHI in the high protein-secreting host Rut-C30 caused physiological changes in the fungal hyphae, affected protein secretion and elicited ER stress. A massive upregulation of UPR- and ERAD-related genes sec61, der1, uba1, bip1, pdi1, prp1, cxl1 and lhs1 was observed by qRT-PCR in the CBHIΔ4-Venus strain with four mutations introduced in the DNA encoding the core domain of CBHI. Further stress was applied to this strain by inhibiting function of the proteasome with MG132 (N-benzoylcarbonyl(Cbz)-Leu-Leu-leucinal). The effect of MG132 was found to be specific to the proteasome-associated genes. There are no earlier reports on the effect of proteasome inhibition on protein quality control in filamentous fungi. Confocal fluorescence microscopy studies suggested that the mutant CBHI accumulated in the ER and colocalized with the fungal proteasome. These results provide an indication that there is a limit to how far T. reesei Rut-C30, already under secretion stress, can be pressed to produce higher protein yields.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183-191
    Number of pages9
    JournalNew Biotechnology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2013


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