High-level expression of Aspergillus niger β-galactosidase in Ashbya gossypii

Frederico Magalhães, Tatiana Q. Aguiar, Carla Oliveira, Lucília Domingues*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Ashbya gossypii has been recently considered as a host for the expression of recombinant proteins. The production levels achieved thus far were similar to those obtained with Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the same proteins. Here, the β-galactosidase from Aspergillus niger was successfully expressed and secreted by A. gossypii from 2-μm plasmids carrying the native signal sequence at higher levels than those secreted by S. cerevisiae laboratorial strains. Four different constitutive promoters were used to regulate the expression of β-galactosidase: A. gossypii AgTEF and AgGPD promoters, and S. cerevisiae ScADH1 and ScPGK1 promoters. The native AgTEF promoter drove the highest expression levels of recombinant β-galactosidase in A. gossypii, leading to 2- and 8-fold higher extracellular activity than the AgGPD promoter and the heterologous promoters, respectively. In similar production conditions, the levels of active β-galactosidase secreted by A. gossypii were up to 37 times higher than those secreted by recombinant S. cerevisiae and ~2.5 times higher than those previously reported for the β-galactosidase-high producing S. cerevisiae NCYC869-A3/pVK1.1. The substitution of glucose by glycerol in the production medium led to a 1.5-fold increase in the secretion of active β-galactosidase by A. gossypii. Recombinant β-galactosidase secreted by A. gossypii was extensively glycosylated, as are the native A. niger β-galactosidase and recombinant β-galactosidase produced by yeast. These results highlight the potential of A. gossypii as a recombinant protein producer and open new perspectives to further optimize recombinant protein secretion in this fungus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-268
Number of pages8
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • A. gossypii GPD and TEF promoters
  • Ashbya gossypii
  • Aspergillus niger β-galactosidase
  • Recombinant β-galactosidase secretion
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae PGK1 and ADH1 promoters


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