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Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker’s Yeast) as an Interfering RNA Expression and Delivery System

[ Vol. 20 , Issue. 9 ]


Molly Duman-Scheel*   Pages 942 - 952 ( 11 )


The broad application of RNA interference for disease prevention is dependent upon the production of dsRNA in an economically feasible, scalable, and sustainable fashion, as well as the identification of safe and effective methods for RNA delivery. Current research has sparked interest in the use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for these applications. This review examines the potential for commercial development of yeast interfering RNA expression and delivery systems. S. cerevisiae is a genetic model organism that lacks a functional RNA interference system, which may make it an ideal system for expression and accumulation of high levels of recombinant interfering RNA. Moreover, recent studies in a variety of eukaryotic species suggest that this microbe may be an excellent and safe system for interfering RNA delivery. Key areas for further research and development include optimization of interfering RNA expression in S. cerevisiae, industrial-sized scaling of recombinant yeast cultures in which interfering RNA molecules are expressed, the development of methods for largescale drying of yeast that preserve interfering RNA integrity, and identification of encapsulating agents that promote yeast stability in various environmental conditions. The genetic tractability of S. cerevisiae and a long history of using this microbe in both the food and pharmaceutical industry will facilitate further development of this promising new technology, which has many potential applications of medical importance.


RNAi, shRNA, gene therapy, Aedes aegypti, Anopheles gambiae, mosquito, biopharmaceutical, bioengineering.


Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend, IN

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