Short Synthetic Terminators for Improved Heterologous Gene Expression in Yeastby Kathleen A. Curran, Nicholas J. Morse, Kelly A. Markham, Allison M. Wagman, Akash Gupta, and Hal S. Alper
Terminators play an important role both in completing the transcription process and impacting mRNA half-life. As such, terminators are an important synthetic component considered in applications such as heterologous gene expression and metabolic engineering. Here, we describe a panel of short (35−70 bp) synthetic terminators that can be used for modulating gene expression in yeast. The best of these synthetic terminator resulted in 3.7-fold more fluorescent protein output and 4.4-fold increase in transcript level compared to that with the commonly used CYC1 terminator. These synthetic terminators offer several advantages over native sequences, including an easily synthesized short length, minimal sequence homology to native sequences, and similar or better performance characteristics than those of commonly used longer terminators. Furthermore, the synthetic terminators are highly functional in both Saccharomyces cerevisiae and an alternative yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica, demonstrating that these synthetic designs are transferrable between diverse yeast species.