Expression of Foreign Genes in the yeast Pichia pastoris

  • Geoffrey P. Lin Cereghino
  • Anthony J. Sunga
  • Joan Lin Cereghino
  • James M. Cregg
Part of the Genetic Engineering book series (GEPM, volume 23)


Although the P. pastoris expression system is not suitable for the production of all foreign proteins, many are compatible with the system. For these proteins, there are major advantages to production in this yeast. Relative to higher eukaryotic expression systems, culturing costs are lower, yields (foreign protein/L of culture medium) are usually higher, and for secreted proteins, the initial purity of the product in the culture medium is higher. Relative to bacterial expression systems, the chances of recovering a eukaryotic foreign protein in its biologically active form are significantly higher with P. pastoris. Although few major P. pastoris- produced human Pharmaceuticals are on the market, several are in the clinical trial pipeline, including the anti-tumor drugs angiostatin and endostatin (44). In addition, P. pastoris is one of the only lower eukaryotic expression systems that is available to academic researchers as a complete kit (see Invitrogen catalog). Recent improvements in the system, including new marker host combinations and alternative promoters, should increase the range of proteins that can be produced by this methylotrophic host. As more proteins are successfully (or unsuccessfully) synthesized in P. pastoris, parameters involved with the optimal expression of specific classes of proteins will become better defined.

Key words

Pichia pastoris yeast heterologous gene expression foreign protein production methanol 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey P. Lin Cereghino
    • 1
  • Anthony J. Sunga
    • 1
  • Joan Lin Cereghino
    • 1
  • James M. Cregg
    • 1
  1. 1.Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life SciencesClaremont

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