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The fruit-like aroma of two valine-derived volatiles, isobutanol and isobutyl acetate, has great impact on the flavour and taste of alcoholic beverages, including sake, a traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage. With the growing worldwide interest in sake, breeding of yeast strains with intracellular valine accumulation is a promising approach to meet a demand for sakes with a variety of flavour and taste by increasing the valine-derived aromas. We here isolated a valine-accumulating sake yeast mutant (K7-V7) and identified a novel amino acid substitution, Ala31Thr, on Ilv6, a regulatory subunit for acetohydroxy acid synthase. Expression of the Ala31Thr variant Ilv6 conferred valine accumulation on the laboratory yeast cells, leading to increased isobutanol production. Additionally, enzymatic analysis revealed that Ala31Thr substitution in Ilv6 decreased sensitivity to feedback inhibition by valine. This study demonstrated for the first time that an N-terminal arm conserved in the regulatory subunit of fungal acetohydroxy acid synthase is involved in the allosteric regulation by valine. Moreover, sake brewed with strain K7-V7 contained 1.5-fold higher levels of isobutanol and isobutyl acetate than sake brewed with the parental strain. Our findings will contribute to the brewing of distinctive sakes and the development of yeast strains with increased production of valine-derived compounds. © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of FEMS.


Shota Isogai, Akira Nishimura, Naoyuki Murakami, Natsuki Hotta, Atsushi Kotaka, Yoichi Toyokawa, Hiroki Ishida, Hiroshi Takagi. Improvement of valine and isobutanol production in sake yeast by Ala31Thr substitution in the regulatory subunit of acetohydroxy acid synthase. FEMS yeast research. 2023 Jan 04;23

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PMID: 36812944

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