Science has grown over the past few decades. There are a lot of discoveries and studies that help spike developments in the fields of genetics and biotechnology. One of which is the growing interest in Pichia pastoris for protein expression.
Interestingly, you can find Pichia in raw milk and cheese that people consume every day. These discoveries help us understand the science behind every food and drink we consume daily.
Here is a guide for you to understand what Pichia pastoris is and all the science behind it:
What is Pichia pastoris?
Pichia pastoris is a methylotrophic yeast. Its discovery could be traced way back as part of the fungi kingdom that happened in 1960.
An American microbiologist Cletus Paul Kurtzman said that its strains are related to Komagataella phaffii. It was determined using multigene sequence analysis.
A Pichia pastoris is a host organism for the production of recombinant proteins. You can also find it on chestnut trees. The methylotrophic yeast can utilize carbon sources, including:
Can Pichia pastoris be a model organism?
The Pichia pastoris is a good model organism. Like any other yeast, it has a short lifespan and a fast regeneration time.
The Pichia pastoris works as a genetic model organism for gene analysis and crossing. It also serves as an experimental model organism essential for the transformation of DNA to host systems.
The role of Pichia pastoris in protein expression
Pichia pastoris expressed over 200 heterologous proteins. Research and studies show that Pichia pastoris developed as a heterologous protein expression system through a recombinant protein expression technology.
A protein expression is a system where you regulate and modify proteins in living organisms.
Here are the steps to having protein recombination:
Step 1: The amplification of the gene of interest in a process called polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
Step 2: The insertion of the gene of interest into a cloning vector
Step 3: The sub-cloning procedure in the expression vector
Step 4: The transformation of the gene to a protein-expressing host like bacteria, yeast, or cell system
Step 5: Testing the qualification of the protein
Step 6: Wide or large-scale production of the protein
Step 7: Purification of the protein
Protein expression systems are used in various settings, ranging from research and development to large-scale manufacturing.
Some of the most common uses for protein expression systems include:
Creating proteins for research uses: Proteins produced using expression systems can be used for various basic research applications, such as studying protein function, structure, or interactions.
Producing therapeutic proteins: Many essential therapeutic proteins, such as antibodies or enzymes, are made using expression systems. These proteins can be used to treat various diseases or disorders.
Enzyme creation for industrial use: Enzymes produced using expression systems are used in various industrial settings, such as food and beverage production, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and bioremediation.
Creating vaccines: Vaccines against various diseases are often produced using expression systems. These vaccines can protect people from getting sick or help to treat existing infections.
Generating diagnostic proteins: Proteins expressed using expression systems can be used for diagnostic purposes, such as detecting the presence of a particular disease or condition.
Producing industrial chemicals: Various industrial chemicals, such as enzymes, are made using expression systems. These chemicals can be used in various manufacturing processes or to create new products.
Generating biofuels: Some biofuels, such as ethanol, are produced using protein expression systems. These biofuels can be used as an alternative to traditional fossil fuels.
Creating food additives: Some food additives, such as enzymes, are produced using protein expression systems. An example is yeast, which is used for making staples like bread and biscuits.
These additives can improve foods’ taste, texture, or nutritional value.
What are the advantages of using Pichia pastoris for the protein expression system?
In the biotech industry, some studies find the best recombinant protein in Pichia pastoris.
Here are some of its advantages:
- can grow in alcohol methanol.
- can live in a cell suspension with intense methanol solutions
- suitable to grow in a high cell density from a defined medium
- possible for wide culturing and growing environment
- can grow in any laboratory without specialist equipment
- produces a minimal endogenous protein for purification of the protein
- cost-effective expression system
- highly efficient expression system
- can make receptors almost twice as Escherichia coli
- easy to scale up in an extensive or wide-scale fermentation
What are the disadvantages of using Pichia pastoris for the protein expression system?
While Pichia pastoris shows good uses for the protein expression system, there are some risks to it, this includes:
- more involvement in the culturing requirements
- technologies for yeast genome still need improvements
- the accumulation of misfolded protein as inclusion bodies
- there is contamination in the protease from host proteins
- expansion leads to the degradation of expressed protein
- endotoxin accumulation
Knowing these risks would allow you to prevent flaws in working with the organism. This would also let you get the help of biotech experts.
Where can you use Pichia pastoris?
There are different ways and industries where Pichia pastoris is necessary, this includes:
The health care industry
Pichia pastoris is essential in the health care industry as an expression system. It aids in genetic analysis and large-scale genetic crossing studies. The Pichia pastoris is for the production of different health and medical products like vaccines and antibodies.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, here are some of the lines in health care for Pichia pastoris:
- production of insulin to treat diabetes
- treating cancer with Tat-p53 protein
- treatment for allergies like Ole e1 for vaccine development
- scFv antibody fragments and vaccines for angiogenesis
- resistance protein for breast cancer in humans
- human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines
- biotherapeutic medicine production for treating heart disease
- treatments for multiple sclerosis, anemia, and rheumatoid arthritis
The food industry
The Pichia pastoris is necessary to the food industry, particularly for a brewery and bakeries, and it has a vital role in food production.
It is widely used for fermenting, which helps improve the production of vitamins, nutrients, and protein contents.
It produces an enzyme that serves as a flavor enhancer, food additive, and processing aid in the food industry. The conversion of enzymes are proteins that turn into energy whenever consumed. In the modern world, enzymes help to make bread softer for a long time. The Pichia pastoris is relevant to the following products:
- chewing gums and candies
- dairy and sweet products
- pet and animal food
- yogurt and ice creams
- beers and wine
- bread and pastries
Why Pichia pastoris is important?
The Pichia pastoris is essential for biotech applications and biological research. The Pichia pastoris is a fungal cell factory, and the Pichia pastoris helps produce thousands of biomolecules for different laboratories.
The biotech applications have different major industrial areas, including:
- crop production and agriculture industry
- medical and health care industry
- non-food industry
- environmental industry
Pichia pastoris is relevant to biotech applications because it keeps up with the world’s demand for living. Biotech is necessary for the following reasons:
- combating illness and diseases
- food for living
- use of clean and safe energy
- reduction of environmental damage and carbon footprint
- efficient industrial processes and manufacturing
Biological research has diverse fields of study, this includes:
- cell biology and plant biology
- developmental biology
- genetics and genomics
- chemical biology
- evolutionary biology
- marine biology
- microbiology and molecular biology
- structural biology
- stem cell research
- systems biology
Pichia pastoris can produce very high levels of protein expression. It is an organism that is easy to manipulate at the genetic level. That allows the introduction of various modifications (such as tags or mutations) that can improve protein function or yield.
Cost Importance for Biotech Applications
The use of Pichia pastoris as a way to extract protein expression is relatively inexpensive.
It costs less to grow and maintain, making it a cost-effective option for large-scale protein production.
Also, it has a shorter generation time, meaning new proteins can be produced quickly and easily. That is why it is the best choice for large-scale protein expression, especially for food companies’ usage.
Summing it all up
Pichia pastoris is generally safe, as it does not produce toxins or other harmful compounds.
Overall, the organism is an excellent choice for protein expression and offers many advantages over other commonly used biotech methods and products. So, if you need high-quality, large-scale protein production, consider Pichia pastoris. Indeed it is the queen of all protein expression systems.