Pectin-rich agricultural wastes potentially represent favorable feedstocks for the sustainable production of alternative energy and bio-products. Their efficient utilization requires the conversion of all major constituent sugars. The current inability of the popular fermentation host Saccharomyces cerevisiae to metabolize the major pectic monosaccharide D-galacturonic acid (D-GalA) significantly hampers these efforts. While it has been reasoned that the optimization of cellular D-GalA uptake will be critical for the engineering of D-GalA utilization in yeast, no dedicated eukaryotic transport protein has been biochemically described. Here we report for the first time such a eukaryotic D-GalA transporter and characterize its functionality in S. cerevisiae.
Recent studies have highlighted the important roles that "sensory" receptors (olfactory receptors, taste receptors, and orphan "GPR" receptors) play in a variety of tissues, including the kidney. Although several studies have identified important roles that individual sensory receptors play in the kidney, there has not been a systematic analysis of the renal repertoire of sensory receptors. In this study, we identify novel renal sensory receptors belonging to the GPR (n?=?76), olfactory receptor (n?=?6), and taste receptor (n?=?11) gene families. A variety of reverse transcriptase (RT)- PCR screening strategies were used to identify novel renal sensory receptors, which were subsequently confirmed using gene-specific primers. The tissue-specific distribution of these receptors was determined, and the novel renal ORs were cloned from whole mouse kidney. Renal ORs that trafficked properly in vitro were screened for potential ligands using a dual-luciferase ligand screen, and novel ligands were identified for Olfr691. These studies demonstrate that multiple sensory receptors are expressed in the kidney beyond those previously identified. These results greatly expand the known repertoire of renal sensory receptors. Importantly, the mRNA of many of the receptors identified in this study are expressed highly in the kidney (comparable to well-known and extensively studied renal GPCRs), and in future studies it will be important to elucidate the roles that these novel renal receptors play in renal physiology.
Olfactory receptors are G protein-coupled receptors that mediate olfactory chemosensation and serve as chemosensors in other tissues. We find that Olfr78, an olfactory receptor expressed in the kidney, responds to short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Olfr78 is expressed in the renal juxtaglomerular apparatus, where it mediates renin secretion in response to SCFAs. In addition, both Olfr78 and G protein-coupled receptor 41 (Gpr41), another SCFA receptor, are expressed in smooth muscle cells of small resistance vessels. Propionate, a SCFA shown to induce vasodilation ex vivo, produces an acute hypotensive response in wild-type mice. This effect is differentially modulated by disruption of Olfr78 and Gpr41 expression. SCFAs are end products of fermentation by the gut microbiota and are absorbed into the circulation. Antibiotic treatment reduces the biomass of the gut microbiota and elevates blood pressure in Olfr78 knockout mice. We conclude that SCFAs produced by the gut microbiota modulate blood pressure via Olfr78 and Gpr41.
Olfactory receptors (ORs) are G protein-coupled receptors that detect odorants in the olfactory epithelium, and comprise the largest gene family in the genome. Identification of OR ligands typically requires OR surface expression in heterologous cells; however, ORs rarely traffic to the cell surface when exogenously expressed. Therefore, most ORs are orphan receptors with no known ligands. To date, studies have utilized non-cleavable rhodopsin (Rho) tags and/or chaperones (i.e. Receptor Transporting Protein, RTP1S, Ric8b and G(?olf)) to improve surface expression. However, even with these tools, many ORs still fail to reach the cell surface. We used a test set of fifteen ORs to examine the effect of a cleavable leucine-rich signal peptide sequence (Lucy tag) on OR surface expression in HEK293T cells. We report here that the addition of the Lucy tag to the N-terminus increases the number of ORs reaching the cell surface to 7 of the 15 ORs (as compared to 3/15 without Rho or Lucy tags). Moreover, when ORs tagged with both Lucy and Rho were co-expressed with previously reported chaperones (RTP1S, Ric8b and G(?olf)), we observed surface expression for all 15 receptors examined. In fact, two-thirds of Lucy-tagged ORs are able to reach the cell surface synergistically with chaperones even when the Rho tag is removed (10/15 ORs), allowing for the potential assessment of OR function with only an 8-amino acid Flag tag on the mature protein. As expected for a signal peptide, the Lucy tag was cleaved from the mature protein and did not alter OR-ligand binding and signaling. Our studies demonstrate that widespread surface expression of ORs can be achieved in HEK293T cells, providing promise for future large-scale deorphanization studies.
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