Expression of antibody fragments in Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains evolved for enhanced protein secretion
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

Monoclonal antibodies, antibody fragments and fusion proteins derived thereof have revolutionized the practice of medicine. Major challenges faced by the biopharmaceutical industry are however high production costs, long processing times and low productivities associated with their production in mammalian cell lines. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a well-characterized eukaryotic cell factory possessing the capacity of post­translational modifications, has been industrially exploited as a secretion host for production of a range of products, including pharmaceuticals. However, due to the incompatible surface glycosylation, few antibody molecules have been functionally expressed in S. cerevisiae. Here, three non-glycosylated antibody fragments from human and the Camelidae family were chosen for expression in a S. cerevisiae strain (HA) previously evolved for high α-amylase secretion. These included the Fab fragment Ranibizumab (Ran), the scFv peptide Pexelizumab (Pex), and a nanobody consisting of a single V-type domain (Nan). Both secretion and biological activities of the antibody fragments were confirmed. In addition, the secretion level of each protein was compared in the wild type (LA) and two evolved strains (HA and MA) with different secretory capacities. We found that the secretion of Ran and Nan was positively correlated with the strains’ secretory capacity, while Pex was most efficiently secreted in the parental strain. To investigate the mechanisms for different secretion abilities in these selected yeast strains for the different antibody fragments, RNA-seq analysis was performed. The results showed that several bioprocesses were significantly enriched for differentially expressed genes when comparing the enriched terms between HA.Nan vs. LA.Nan and HA.Pex vs. LA.Pex, including amino acid metabolism, protein synthesis, cell cycle and others, which indicates that there are unique physiological needs for each antibody fragment secretion.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae

RNA-seq analysis

Pharmaceutical proteins

Protein secretion capacity


Yanyan Wang

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Systembiologi

Xiaowei Li

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Systembiologi

Xin Chen

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Systembiologi

Jens B Nielsen

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Novo Nordisk Fonden

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Systembiologi

Dina Petranovic Nielsen

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Systembiologi

Novo Nordisk Fonden

Verena Siewers

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik, Systembiologi

Novo Nordisk Fonden

Microbial Cell Factories

14752859 (eISSN)

Vol. 20 1 134


Biokemi och molekylärbiologi

Immunologi inom det medicinska området

Medicinsk bioteknologi (med inriktning mot cellbiologi (inklusive stamcellsbiologi), molekylärbiologi, mikrobiologi, biokemi eller biofarmaci)


Hälsa och teknik





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