Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 403–417 | Cite as

Engineering of protein secretion in yeast: strategies and impact on protein production

  • Alimjan Idiris
  • Hideki Tohda
  • Hiromichi Kumagai
  • Kaoru Takegawa


Yeasts combine the ease of genetic manipulation and fermentation of a microorganism with the capability to secrete and modify foreign proteins according to a general eukaryotic scheme. Their rapid growth, microbiological safety, and high-density fermentation in simplified medium have a high impact particularly in the large-scale industrial production of foreign proteins, where secretory expression is important for simplifying the downstream protein purification process. However, secretory expression of heterologous proteins in yeast is often subject to several bottlenecks that limit yield. Thus, many studies on yeast secretion systems have focused on the engineering of the fermentation process, vector systems, and host strains. Recently, strain engineering by genetic modification has been the most useful and effective method for overcoming the drawbacks in yeast secretion pathways. Such an approach is now being promoted strongly by current post-genomic technology and system biology tools. However, engineering of the yeast secretion system is complicated by the involvement of many cross-reacting factors. Tight interdependence of each of these factors makes genetic modification difficult. This indicates the necessity of developing a novel systematic modification strategy for genetic engineering of the yeast secretion system. This mini-review focuses on recent strategies and their advantages for systematic engineering of yeast strains for effective protein secretion.


Yeast secretion system Secretion pathway Protein folding Membrane trafficking Protease Glycosylation 



This work was supported by funds from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) as a part of the project “Development of a Technological Infrastructure for Industrial Bioprocesses on Research and Development of New Industrial Science and Technology Frontiers” entrusted by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alimjan Idiris
    • 1
  • Hideki Tohda
    • 1
  • Hiromichi Kumagai
    • 1
  • Kaoru Takegawa
    • 2
  1. 1.R&D Group, ASPEX Division, Research CenterAsahi Glass Co., Ltd.YokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Applied Microbiology, Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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