Balanced trafficking between the ER and the Golgi apparatus increases protein secretion in yeast

Jichen Bao, Mingtao Huang, Dina Petranovic, Jens Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is widely used as a cell factory to produce recombinant proteins. However, S. cerevisiae naturally secretes only a few proteins, such as invertase and the mating alpha factor, and its secretory capacity is limited. It has been reported that engineering protein anterograde trafficking from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus by the moderate overexpression of SEC16 could increase recombinant protein secretion in S. cerevisiae. In this study, the retrograde trafficking in a strain with moderate overexpression of SEC16 was engineered by overexpression of ADP-ribosylation factor GTP activating proteins, Gcs1p and Glo3p, which are involved in the process of COPI-coated vesicle formation. Engineering the retrograde trafficking increased the secretion of alpha-amylase but did not induce production of reactive oxygen species. An expanded ER membrane was detected in both the GCS1 and GLO3 overexpression strains. Physiological characterizations during batch fermentation showed that GLO3 overexpression had better effect on recombinant protein secretion than GCS1 overexpression. Additionally, the GLO3 overexpression strain had higher secretion of two other recombinant proteins, endoglucanase I from Trichoderma reesei and glucan-1,4-alpha-glucosidase from Rhizopus oryzae, indicating overexpression of GLO3 in a SEC16 moderate overexpression strain might be a general strategy for improving production of secreted proteins by yeast.
Original languageEnglish
Article number37
JournalA M B Express
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


  • Retrograde trafficking
  • COPI vesicle
  • Protein secretion
  • GLO3
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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