Overexpression of erg20 gene encoding farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase has contrasting effects on activity of enzymes of the dolichyl and sterol branches of mevalonate pathway in Trichoderma reesei.

PMID 24793581


The mevalonate pathway is the most diverse metabolic route resulting in the biosynthesis of at least 30,000 isoprenoid compounds, many of which, such as sterols or dolichols, are indispensable for living cells. In the filamentous fungus Trichoderma of major biotechnological interest isoprenoid metabolites are also involved in the biocontrol processes giving the mevalonate pathway an additional significance. On the other hand, little is known about genes coding for enzymes of the mevalonate pathway in Trichoderma. Here, we present cloning and functional analysis of the erg20 gene from Trichoderma reesei coding for farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) synthase (EC, an enzyme located at the branching point of the mevalonate pathway. Expression of the gene in a thermosensitive erg20-2 mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae impaired in the FPP synthase activity suppressed the thermosensitive phenotype. The same gene overexpressed in T. reesei significantly enhanced the FPP synthase activity and also stimulated the activity of cis-prenyltransferase, an enzyme of the dolichyl branch of the mevalonate pathway. Unexpectedly, the activity of squalene synthase from the other, sterol branch, was significantly decreased without, however, affecting ergosterol level.