In S. cerevisiae, HMG-CoA reductase is encoded by two isogenes, HMG1 and HMG2, and the expression of HMG1 is controlled at the transcriptional level by ergosterol . The overexpression of HMG1 combined with ketoconazole treatment in a S. cerevisiae recombinant strain resulted in an increase in beta-carotene production . Finally, our results are Akt inhibitor similar to those reported in the GSK458 astaxanthin over-producing X. dendrorhous mutant strain with lower ergosterol and a higher HMGR transcript level than the parental strain after 72 h of cultivation .
However, the astaxanthin over-producing strain was obtained by random chemical mutagenesis, while we specifically blocked ergosterol biosynthesis by disrupting the CYP61 gene. Conclusions In conclusion, the CYP61 gene disruption in X. dendrorhous prevents the synthesis of ergosterol without affecting the growth of the yeast under the experimental conditions used in this work. The cyp61 -
mutant strains accumulate ergosta-5,8,22-trien-3-ol and ergosta-5,8-dien-3-ol that may fulfill some of the ergosterol roles in the cell. In addition, our results strongly suggest that by a feedback regulatory mechanism, ergosterol regulates the synthesis of sterols and carotenoids in the astaxanthin-producing yeast X. dendrorhous, being the HMGR gene expression, one of its targets. Methods Microorganisms, plasmids, media, and enzymes The strains and plasmids that were used or created in this work are listed in Table 2. The wild-type UCD LY411575 67–385 X. dendrorhous strain was used for cDNA library construction and genomic CYP61 gene amplification. E. coli DH-5α was used as a host for plasmid propagation. X. dendrorhous strains were grown at 22°C with constant agitation in YM medium (1% glucose, 0.3% yeast extract, 0.3% malt extract and 0.5% peptone). Yeast ifenprodil transformant selection was performed on 1.5% agar YM-plates supplemented with 10 μg/ml hygromycin B and/or 15 μg/ml zeocin. E. coli strains were grown with constant agitation at 37°C in Luria-Bertani (LB) medium supplemented with
100 μg/ml ampicillin for plasmid selection and 40 μl of a 2% solution of X-gal (5-bromo-4chloro-3-indolyl-β-D-galactopyranoside) for recombinant clone selection . Recombinant clones bearing the plasmids with the hygromycin B or zeocin resistance cassettes were selected by direct colony PCR with primers specific for each cassette [21, 31]. The zeocin resistance cassette was constructed in the same way as the hygromycin B resistance cassette  using the Sh ble gene from Streptoalloteichus hindustanus[53, 54]. The Taq DNA polymerase (pol), restriction enzymes, Klenow polymerase and M-MLV reverse transcriptase were purchased from Promega, and the Pfu DNA pol was purchased from Invitrogen. DNA amplification and sequence analysis The oligonucleotides designed for this study (Table 1) were purchased from Alpha DNA or from Integrated DNA Technologies.