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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 105109, 15 pages
Review Article

Proteomics Shows New Faces for the Old Penicillin Producer Penicillium chrysogenum

Proteomics Service of INBIOTEC, Instituto de Biotecnología de León (INBIOTEC), Parque Científico de León, Avenida. Real, no. 1, 24006 León, Spain

Received 2 June 2011; Revised 30 September 2011; Accepted 14 October 2011

Academic Editor: Tanya Parish

Copyright © 2012 Carlos Barreiro et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fungi comprise a vast group of microorganisms including the Ascomycota (majority of all described fungi), the Basidiomycota (mushrooms or higher fungi), and the Zygomycota and Chytridiomycota (basal or lower fungi) that produce industrially interesting secondary metabolites, such as β-lactam antibiotics. These compounds are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs world-wide. Since Fleming's initial discovery of Penicillium notatum 80 years ago, the role of Penicillium as an antimicrobial source became patent. After the isolation of Penicillium chrysogenum NRRL 1951 six decades ago, classical mutagenesis and screening programs led to the development of industrial strains with increased productivity (at least three orders of magnitude). The new “omics” era has provided the key to understand the underlying mechanisms of the industrial strain improvement process. The review of different proteomics methods applied to P. chrysogenum has revealed that industrial modification of this microorganism was a consequence of a careful rebalancing of several metabolic pathways. In addition, the secretome analysis of P. chrysogenum has opened the door to new industrial applications for this versatile filamentous fungus.