Protein production and discovery

A photo of a hand holding a small amount of a granular prowder.

Proteins can be used to solve global challenges by using nature’s own tools.  At VTT, we discover novel enzymes and other proteins, and engineer them for diverse applications.

Key facts

Discovering novel enzymes and other proteins

Developing protein production systems in microbes, plant cells and plants

Enhancing productivity: Trichoderma reesei is capable of producing over 110 g/L of total protein mixture

Our work with proteins is to discover novel activities, to characterise reaction mechanisms as well as to improve properties through modern protein engineering techniques.  

We have, for example, engineered a yeast strain capable of consolidated bioprocessing for Mascoma Corporation. It reduced the need for external enzymes about 50%, improving significantly the economics of bioethanol production. 

World-class development of protein production systems

We offer world-class protein production systems in microbes, plant cells and plants. We also carry out research to understand the molecular background and physiology of protein production.  

Our customers benefit from our knowledge and experience by getting proteins produced efficiently or by advancing their own protein production technology. Our microbial productions strains are also available for licensing. 

Solving global challenges one protein at a time

The major global enzyme companies Genencor/DuPont and AB Enzymes have been our long-term research partners. In another protein expression commission for a customer, we produced a recombinant enzyme at a level of 28 g/l.   

Our protein discovery and production expertise can be applied to industries such as biorefineries, materials, food, feed, industrial enzymes, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper and chemicals.

More than 30 years of experience in protein production technology

VTT is a leading research organisation in the development of the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei and Myceliophthora thermophile as production hosts. In T. reesei we produce native enzyme and recombinant protein, develop molecular and systems biology tools, enhance productivity by strain engineering and investigate the host physiology and optimise the fermentation process.  

We express recombinant proteins and improve their productivity also in plants and plant cells, yeasts and bacteria. We also develop efficient high throughput screening procedures in different protein production hosts for enzyme discovery and engineering.

We have long experience and proprietary technology for protein engineering, expression and production system development. We also provide technology transfer of protein production systems and technology to our customers.