Systems biotechnology for protein production in Pichia pastoris

FEMS Yeast Res. 2017 Nov 1;17(7). doi: 10.1093/femsyr/fox068.


The methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris (syn. Komagataella spp.) is one of the most important production systems for heterologous proteins. After the first genome sequences were published in 2009, tremendous effort was made to establish systems-level analytical methods. Methylotrophic lifestyle was one of the most thoroughly investigated topics, studied at the levels of transcriptome, proteome and metabolic flux. Also the responses of P. pastoris to environmental stress conditions experienced during high cell density production processes were studied. Metabolomics and flux analysis revealed the plasticity of the cellular metabolism in its adaption to the production of foreign proteins and served as blueprints for subsequent cell engineering and/or process design. The transcriptional response elicited by overexpression of heterologous proteins seems to depend on the nature and complexity of the recombinant product. Based on these data, novel targets for strain engineering could be deduced from transcriptomics and proteomics data mining and effectively enhanced protein secretion. Transcriptional regulation data also served as a valuable resource to identify novel promoters with the desired regulatory characteristics. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of systems biology applications in P. pastoris ranging from increased understanding of cell physiology to improving recombinant protein production in this cell factory.

Keywords: bioprocess engineering; cell engineering; recombinant protein production; synthetic biology; systems biology; yeast.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biotechnology* / methods
  • Fermentation*
  • Genetic Engineering / methods
  • Genome, Fungal
  • Genomics / methods
  • Metabolic Engineering / methods
  • Metabolomics / methods
  • Pichia / genetics*
  • Pichia / metabolism*
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics*
  • Systems Biology / methods


  • Recombinant Proteins