Secretion is an attractive production mode for proteins that require posttranslational modifications carried out in the secretory pathway. For example, amino acid chains fold properly, disulfide bonds form correctly, and glycosylation occurs accurately as the protein is secreted. In addition, recovery of secreted proteins is simplified by the fact that cells need not be broken and the product may be a major species present in a minimal synthetic culture medium. The current state of the art permits the production and secretion of proteins by heterologous cells. While future efforts will be required to improve the efficiency of secretion, current methods yield commercially interesting levels of secretion from E. coli, B. subtilis, S. cerevisiae, Aspergilli, and many mammalian cell types. Each of these systems offers certain advantages, and the choice of system depends on the specific protein to be secreted. High-value human therapeutic products such as plasminogen activators are reasonable candidates for secretion from mammalian cell lines, while industrial proteins such as calf prochymosin require a more economical host, such as baker's yeast or Aspergillus. The wide variety of posttranslational modifications observed in nature may prevent any single secretion system from dominating the field for many years to come.