Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Methylotrophic yeast (Komagataella pastoris, formerly known as Pichia pastoris). This methylotrophic yeast was isolated from nature and can consume methanol as a sole carbon source when glycerol or glucose is not found as a food source. It is a recombinant organism that is used to produce large quantities of specialized proteins. To metabolize methanol K. pastoris has an alcohol oxidase (AOX) gene. The K. pastoris expression system uses the methanol-induced alcohol oxidase promoter (AOX1) which controls the gene that codes for the expression of alcohol oxidase (the enzyme which catalyses the fist step in the metabolism of methanol). Genes for pharmaceutical proteins can be inserted next to the AOX-gene in Komagataella allowing the yeast to produce the protein. A number of proteins have been produced using this system, including tetanus toxin fragment and human serum albumin. Magnification: x1,600 when.
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