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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2000 Jan;24(1):45-66.

Heterologous protein expression in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology, 20000 N.W. Walker Road, Beaverton, OR, USA.


During the past 15 years, the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris has developed into a highly successful system for the production of a variety of heterologous proteins. The increasing popularity of this particular expression system can be attributed to several factors, most importantly: (1) the simplicity of techniques needed for the molecular genetic manipulation of P. pastoris and their similarity to those of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, one of the most well-characterized experimental systems in modern biology; (2) the ability of P. pastoris to produce foreign proteins at high levels, either intracellularly or extracellularly; (3) the capability of performing many eukaryotic post-translational modifications, such as glycosylation, disulfide bond formation and proteolytic processing; and (4) the availability of the expression system as a commercially available kit. In this paper, we review the P. pastoris expression system: how it was developed, how it works, and what proteins have been produced. We also describe new promoters and auxotrophic marker/host strain combinations which extend the usefulness of the system.

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