Introduction to Pichia pastoris

  • David R. Higgins
  • James M. Cregg
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 103)


Pichia pastoris has become a highly successful system for the expression of heterologous genes. Several factors have contributed to its rapid acceptance, the most important of which include:
  1. 1.

    A promoter derived from the alcohol oxidase I (AOX1) gene of P. pastoris that is uniquely suited for the controlled expression of foreign genes;

  2. 2.

    The similarity of techniques needed for the molecular genetic manipulation of P. pastoris to those of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, one of the most well-characterized experimental systems in modern biology;

  3. 3.

    The strong preference of P. pastoris for respiratory growth, a key physiological trait that greatly facilitates its culturing at high cell densities relative to fermentative yeasts; and

  4. 4.

    A 1993 decision by Phillips Petroleum Company (continued by Research Corporation Technologies [RTC]) to release the P. pastoris expression system to academic research laboratories, the consequence of which has been an explosion in the knowledge base of the system (Fig. 1).



Foreign Protein Alcohol Oxidase AOX1 Promoter AOX1 Gene Unique Restriction Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Higgins
    • 1
  • James M. Cregg
    • 2
  1. 1.Chiron Technologies/Center for Gene TherapySan Diego
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyOregon Graduate Institute of Science and TechnologyPortland

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