Glutamic acid promotes monacolin K production and monacolin K biosynthetic gene cluster expression in Monascus
This study investigated the effects of glutamic acid on production of monacolin K and expression of the monacolin K biosynthetic gene cluster. When Monascus M1 was grown in glutamic medium instead of in the original medium, monacolin K production increased from 48.4 to 215.4 mg l
, monacolin K production increased by 3.5 times.
Glutamic acid enhanced monacolin K production by upregulating the expression of mokB-mokI; on day 8, the expression level of mokA tended to decrease by Reverse Transcription-polymerase Chain Reaction. Our findings demonstrated that mokA was not a key gene responsible for the quantity of monacolin K production in the presence of glutamic acid.
Observation of Monascus mycelium morphology using Scanning Electron Microscope showed glutamic acid significantly increased the content of Monascus mycelium, altered the permeability of Monascus mycelium, enhanced secretion of monacolin K from the cell, and reduced the monacolin K content in Monascus mycelium, thereby enhancing monacolin K production.