Molecular cloning of XYL3 (D-xylulokinase) from Pichia stipitis and characterization of its physiological function

Yong Su Jin, Sharon Jones, Nian Qing Shi, Thomas W. Jeffries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


XYL3, which encodes a D-xylulokinase (EC, was isolated from Pichia stipitis CBS 6054 genomic DNA by using primers designed against conserved motifs. Disruption of XYL3 eliminated D-xylulokinase activity, but D-ribulokinase activity was still present. Southern analysis of P. stipitis genomic DNA with XYL3 as a probe confirmed the disruption and did not reveal additional related genes. Disruption of XYL3 stopped ethanol production from xylose, but the resulting mutant still assimilated xylose slowly and formed xylitol and arabinitol. These results indicate that XYL3 is critical for ethanol production from xylose but that P. stipitis has another pathway for xylose assimilation. Expression of XYL3 using its P. stipitis promoter increased Saccharomyces cerevisiae D-xylulose consumption threefold and enabled the transformants to produce ethanol from a mixture of xylose and xylulose, whereas the parental strain only accumulated xylitol. In vitro, D-xylulokinase activity in recombinant S. cerevisiae was sixfold higher with a multicopy than with a single-copy XYL3 plasmid, but ethanol production decreased with increased copy number. These results confirmed the function of XYL3 in S. cerevisiae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1232-1239
Number of pages8
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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