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Science. 2003 Aug 29;301(5637):1244-6.

Production of complex human glycoproteins in yeast.

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  • 1Thayer School of Engineering and the Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.


We report the humanization of the glycosylation pathway in the yeast Pichia pastoris to secrete a human glycoprotein with uniform complex N-glycosylation. The process involved eliminating endogenous yeast glycosylation pathways, while properly localizing five active eukaryotic proteins, including mannosidases I and II, N-acetylglucosaminyl transferases I and II, and uridine 5'-diphosphate (UDP)-N-acetylglucosamine transporter. Targeted localization of the enzymes enabled the generation of a synthetic in vivo glycosylation pathway, which produced the complex human N-glycan N-acetylglucosamine2-mannose3-N-acetylglucosamine2 (GlcNAc2Man3GlcNAc2). The ability to generate human glycoproteins with homogeneous N-glycan structures in a fungal host is a step toward producing therapeutic glycoproteins and could become a tool for elucidating the structure-function relation of glycoproteins.

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