Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a superior host for overproduction of prokaryotic integral membrane proteins

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Integral membrane proteins (IMPs) constitute ~30% of all proteins encoded by the genome of any organism and Escherichia coli remains the first-choice host for recombinant production of prokaryotic IMPs. However, the expression levels of prokaryotic IMPs delivered by this bacterium are often low and overproduced targets often accumulate in inclusion bodies. The targets are therefore often discarded to avoid an additional and inconvenient refolding step in the purification protocol. Here we compared expression of five prokaryotic (bacterial and archaeal) IMP families in E. coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We demonstrate that our S. cerevisiae-based production platform is superior in expression of four investigated IMPs, overall being able to deliver high quantities of active target proteins. Surprisingly, in case of the family of zinc transporters (Zrt/Irt-like proteins, ZIPs), S. cerevisiae rescued protein expression that was undetectable in E. coli. We also demonstrate the effect of localization of the fusion tag on expression yield and sample quality in detergent micelles. Lastly, we present a road map to achieve the most efficient expression of prokaryotic IMPs in our yeast platform. Our findings demonstrate the great potential of S. cerevisiae as host for high-throughput recombinant overproduction of bacterial and archaeal IMPs for downstream biophysical characterization.
Translated title of the contributionSaccharomyces cerevisiae er en overlegen vært til overproduktion af prokaryote membranproteiner
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent research in structural biology
Pages (from-to)51-71
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 260603504