Progress in Yeast Glycosylation Engineering

  • Stephen R. Hamilton
  • Dongxing Zha
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1321)


While yeast are lower eukaryotic organisms, they share many common features and biological processes with higher eukaryotes. As such, yeasts have been used as model organisms to facilitate our understanding of such features and processes. To this end, a large number of powerful genetic tools have been developed to investigate and manipulate these organisms. Going hand-in-hand with these genetic tools is the ability to efficiently scale up the fermentation of these organisms, thus making them attractive hosts for the production of recombinant proteins. A key feature of producing recombinant proteins in yeast is that these proteins can be readily secreted into the culture supernatant, simplifying any downstream processing. A consequence of this secretion is that the proteins typically pass through the secretory pathway, during which they may be exposed to various posttranslational modifications. The addition of glycans is one such modification. Unfortunately, while certain aspects of glycosylation are shared between lower and higher eukaryotes, significant differences exist. Over the last two decades much research has focused on engineering the glycosylation pathways of yeast to more closely resemble those of higher eukaryotes, particularly those of humans for the production of therapeutic proteins. In the current review we shall highlight some of the key achievements in yeast glyco-engineering which have led to humanization of both the N- and O-linked glycosylation pathways.

Key words

Glycosylation Glycoengineer Humanization N-linked O-linked Oligosaccharyltransferase 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen R. Hamilton
    • 1
  • Dongxing Zha
    • 2
  1. 1.GlycoFi (A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.), Biologics DiscoveryMerck Research LaboratoriesLebanonUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Applied Cancer ScienceThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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