Yeast are a single-celled eukaryotic organisms that combine high levels of recombinant protein production with eukaryotic post-translational modifications (PTMs).

Some advantages of using yeast over other host systems for protein expression include: 

  • Relatively inexpensive setup and running costs
  • Very high levels of recombinant protein production
  • Able to perform many PTMs e.g. N-glycosylation
  • Simplified downstream processing for secreted proteins
  • Amenable to large-scale fermentation

Some drawbacks of yeast as a host cell expression system include:

  • PTMs are less complex when compared to higher eukaryotic systems (e.g. insect and mammalian cells)
  • Yeast’s tough cell wall is cumbersome to disrupt when processing intracellular proteins