'Engineering of new-generation protein secretion systems'

The market for recombinant proteins, including biopharmaceuticals, industrial enzymes and membrane proteins, is estimated to be about €78 billion and rising. A high proportion of the target proteins are produced in bacteria, where secretion out of the cytoplasm is a favoured strategy. However, current production platforms have severe limitations and cannot handle many secreted enzymes and membrane proteins. There is an overwhelming need for new production systems that can deliver these products in greater yields, with higher quality and at lower costs. The 'ProteinFactory' ETN aimed to meet these challenges through the provision of a suite of super-secreting strains with unique capabilities. Such strains have been engineered to bypass major production bottlenecks such as secretion stress, and are capable of secreting a wide range of target molecules. Equally important has been the training of a new generation of researchers, versed in Systems and Synthetic Biology approaches. The ProteinFactory project involved extensive collaborations between 6 academic Institutes, who provided world-leading expertise in synthetic biology and protein secretion, and 5 non-academic partners who included some of the world's premier biotechnology companies. Training has been inter-sectoral from the outset, with every ESR undertaking extensive secondments within the non-academic partners in order to encourage an entrepreneurial mind-set. The project was furthermore explicitly multi-disciplinary in scope, with two of the five research work packages dominated by theoretical approaches. Based on a responsible innovation approach and with a clear focus on inter-sectoral collaboration, ProteinFactory has thus delivered a cohort of superbly-trained scientists, put the industrial and SME partners at the forefront of global competition and reinforced European innovation potentials with growth and job creation.

Work Packages (WPs) and their interdependencies in ProteinFactory

Link to the password-protected work space: http://nestor.rug.nl