Scientists discover RNA interference in budding yeast - Pharmaceutical Technology

Latest Issue

Latest Issue
PharmTech Europe

Scientists discover RNA interference in budding yeast

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

Vaccine makers and other pharmaceutical manufacturers using yeast protein-expression systems are taking note of a discovery this week by a team of researchers who have found RNA interference in Saccharomyces castellii. S. castellii is closely related to S. cerevisiae, a known eukaryotic model organism whose use in the pharmaceutical production has been cited (1).

“For a long time, people thought that budding yeast didn’t have RNAi at all because S. cerevisiae, which is the model budding yeast, doesn’t have RNAi,” said Kathleen Xie an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory of David Bartel, a professor at the Department of Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; USA), in a press release issued by Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (USA). Xie and Bartel, also affiliated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, are two of the coauthors of the study published in the 10 September edition of Science Express. Other authors include I. Drinnenberg (Whitehead and Howard Hughes Medical Institute), D. Weinberg (Whitehead, Howard Hughes Medical and MIT), G. Fink (Whitehead and MIT), and J. Mower and K. Wolfe (both at Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College, Ireland).

The researchers hope that the discovery will lead to a greater understanding of the RNAi pathway, which is used by plants and animals to silence genes of viruses and transposons. Scientists also hope the finding will lead to more information about other yeasts, such as Candida albicans, a common human pathogen. Yeast expression systems offer several advantages in pharmaceutical production: their genomes are easy to manipulate, they grow quickly under controlled environments, and they have functions and biochemical pathways that are in common with human cells.

1. B. Huang et al., “Heterologous Production of Secondary Metabolites as Pharmaceuticals in Saccharomyces cerevisiae,” Biotechnol. Lett. 30 (7), 1121¬-1137 (2008).


blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters

Subscribe: Click to learn more about the newsletter
| Weekly
| Monthly
| Weekly

FDASIA was signed into law two years ago. Where has the most progress been made in implementation?
Reducing drug shortages
Breakthrough designations
Protecting the supply chain
Expedited reviews of drug submissions
More stakeholder involvement
Reducing drug shortages
Breakthrough designations
Protecting the supply chain
Expedited reviews of drug submissions
More stakeholder involvement
View Results
Eric Langerr Outsourcing Outlook Eric LangerTargeting Different Off-Shore Destinations
Cynthia Challener, PhD Ingredients Insider Cynthia ChallenerAsymmetric Synthesis Continues to Advance
Jill Wechsler Regulatory Watch Jill Wechsler Data Integrity Key to GMP Compliance
Sean Milmo European Regulatory WatchSean MilmoExtending the Scope of Pharmacovigilance Comes at a Price
New FDA Team to Spur Modern Drug Manufacturing
From Generics to Supergenerics
CMOs and the Track-and-Trace Race: Are You Engaged Yet?
Ebola Outbreak Raises Ethical Issues
Better Comms Means a Fitter Future for Pharma, Part 2: Realizing the Benefits of Unified Communications
Source: Pharmaceutical Technology Europe,
Click here