Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 549747
Title Production of protein-based polymers in Pichia pastoris
Author(s) Werten, Marc W.T.; Eggink, Gerrit; Cohen Stuart, Martien A.; Wolf, Frits A. de
Source Biotechnology Advances 37 (2019)5. - ISSN 0734-9750 - p. 642 - 666.
Department(s) BBP Bioconversion
Bioprocess Engineering
Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Block copolymers - Collagen - Elastin - Gelatin - Pichia pastoris - Protein expression - Protein-based polymers - Proteolysis - Self-assembly - Silk

Materials science and genetic engineering have joined forces over the last three decades in the development of so-called protein-based polymers. These are proteins, typically with repetitive amino acid sequences, that have such physical properties that they can be used as functional materials. Well-known natural examples are collagen, silk, and elastin, but also artificial sequences have been devised. These proteins can be produced in a suitable host via recombinant DNA technology, and it is this inherent control over monomer sequence and molecular size that renders this class of polymers of particular interest to the fields of nanomaterials and biomedical research. Traditionally, Escherichia coli has been the main workhorse for the production of these polymers, but the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris is finding increased use in view of the often high yields and potential bioprocessing benefits. We here provide an overview of protein-based polymers produced in P. pastoris. We summarize their physicochemical properties, briefly note possible applications, and detail their biosynthesis. Some challenges that may be faced when using P. pastoris for polymer production are identified: (i) low yields and poor process control in shake flask cultures; i.e., the need for bioreactors, (ii) proteolytic degradation, and (iii) self-assembly in vivo. Strategies to overcome these challenges are discussed, which we anticipate will be of interest also to readers involved in protein expression in P. pastoris in general.

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