, Volume 89, Issue 4, pp 939-948
Date: 02 Dec 2010

Production of recombinant proteins and metabolites in yeasts

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Abstract

Recombinant DNA (rDNA) technologies allow the production of a wide range of peptides, proteins and metabolites from naturally non-producing cells. Since human insulin was the first heterologous compound produced in a laboratory in 1977, rDNA technology has become one of the most important technologies developed in the 20th century. Recombinant protein and metabolites production is a multi-billion dollar market. The development of a new product begins with the choice of the cell factory. The final application of the compound dictates the main criteria that should be taken into consideration: (1) quality, (2) quantity, (3) yield and (4) space time yield of the desired product. Quantity and quality are the most predominant requirements that must be considered for the commercial production of a protein. Quantity and yield are the requirements for the production of a metabolite. Finally, space time yield is crucial for any production process. It therefore becomes clear why the perfect host does not exist yet, and why—despite important advances in rDNA applications in higher eukaryotic cells—microbial biodiversity continues to represent a potential source of attractive cell factories. In this review, we compare the advantages and limitations of the principal yeast and bacterial workhorse systems.