Many species of yeast secrete significant amounts of protease(s). In this article, results of numerous surveys of yeast extracellular protease production have been compiled and inconsistencies in the data and limitations of the methodology have been examined. Regulation, purification, characterization, and processing of yeast extracellular proteases are reviewed. Results obtained from the sequences of cloned genes, especially the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Bar protease, the Candida albicans acid protease, and the Yarrowia lipolytica alkaline protease, have been emphasized. Biotechnological applications and the medical relevance of yeast extracellular proteases are covered. Yeast extracellular proteases have potential in beer and wine stabilization, and they probably contribute to pathogenicity of Candida spp. Yeast extracellular protease genes also provide secretion and processing signals for yeast expression systems designed for secretion of heterologous proteins. Coverage of the secretion of foreign proteases such as prochymosin, urokinase, and tissue plasminogen activator by yeast in included.
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