Mapping the yeast host cell response to recombinant membrane protein production: Relieving the biological bottlenecks

Authors

  • Mark P. Ashe,

    1. Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, UK
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  • Dr. Roslyn M. Bill

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Life and Health Sciences and Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, UK
    • School of Life and Health Sciences and Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK, Fax: +44-121-204-5142
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Abstract

Understanding the structures and functions of membrane proteins is an active area of research within bioscience. Membrane proteins are key players in essential cellular processes such as the uptake of nutrients, the export of waste products, and the way in which cells communicate with their environment. It is therefore not surprising that membrane proteins are targeted by over half of all prescription drugs. Since most membrane proteins are not abundant in their native membranes, it is necessary to produce them in recombinant host cells to enable further structural and functional studies. Unfortunately, achieving the required yields of functional recombinant membrane proteins is still a bottleneck in contemporary bioscience. This has highlighted the need for defined and rational optimization strategies based upon experimental observation rather than relying on trial and error. We have published a transcriptome and subsequent genetic analysis that has identified genes implicated in high-yielding yeast cells. These results have highlighted a role for alterations to a cell's protein synthetic capacity in the production of high yields of recombinant membrane protein: paradoxically, reduced protein synthesis favors higher yields. These results highlight a potential bottleneck at the protein folding or translocation stage of protein production.

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