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'Super Yeasts' Produce 300 Times More Protein Than Previously Possible

Date:
May 13, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Researchers in California report development of a new kind of genetically modified yeast cell that produces complex proteins up to 300 times more than possible in the past. These "super yeasts" could help boost production and lower prices for a new generation of protein-based drugs that show promise for fighting diabetes, obesity, and other diseases, the researchers suggest.

Researchers in California report development of a new kind of genetically modified yeast cell that produces complex proteins up to 300 times more than possible in the past. These "super yeasts" could help boost production and lower prices for a new generation of protein-based drugs that show promise for fighting diabetes, obesity, and other diseases, the researchers suggest.

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In their report, Lei Wang and Qian Wang explain that the yeasts are intended for speeding production of proteins containing so-called "unnatural amino acids" (UAAs). Living things normally use the same basic set of 20 amino acids to make proteins. Scientists have made additional amino acids, the UAAs, which show promise for building new proteins with a broad range of medical and industrial applications. However, researchers had had difficulty in efficiently incorporating these UAAs into useful protein products.

Wang and Wang are reporting a solution to that problem. They inserted parts of the simple but highly efficient protein-making machinery of E. coli bacteria into the advanced but inefficient protein-making machinery of yeast cells. The result was a best-of-both world's creation: A genetically-engineered yeast cell that produces complex proteins containing UAAs at levels 300 times higher than normal yeast cells.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Qian Wang, Lei Wang. New Methods Enabling Efficient Incorporation of Unnatural Amino Acids in Yeast. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2008; 130 (19): 6066 DOI: 10.1021/ja800894n

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "'Super Yeasts' Produce 300 Times More Protein Than Previously Possible." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080512092318.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, May 13). 'Super Yeasts' Produce 300 Times More Protein Than Previously Possible. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080512092318.htm
American Chemical Society. "'Super Yeasts' Produce 300 Times More Protein Than Previously Possible." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080512092318.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

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