Originally Posted by Justibone
The difficulty is in getting the yeast to secrete compounds.
Justibone, you mean secondary metabolites/small compounds, rather than proteins/peptides?
It's pretty easy to get yeast to export proteins and peptides. Getting it done in an active, FDA approved form is another thing!
Yeast invertase is secreted, as are the mating peptides, alpha and a (no symbol font that I could see for the alpha). One engineers the signal peptide from one of those onto the 5' end of the gene of interest (or n-terminus, if you prefer protein terminology over DNA). There are two big bugaboos for proteins that I remember. One is the fairly high probability of hyperglycosylation (O-linked, if I recall correctly). I recall an example of a 14 kD protein being hyperglycosylated to greater than 100 kD. Another is having them active or at least folded properly; some proteins just don't take to export kindly.
Some use Kluyveromyces lactis
and Pichia pastoris
to get around some of this, but I'm not sure I'd want beer made with those.
By the time we can voyage between stars, though, we'll probably have it figured out.
. How's that for sci-fi geeking out?
A few good Saturday afternoons were wasted on that show.