, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 273-283
Date: 20 Mar 2008

Gene expression profiles and intracellular contents of stress protectants in Saccharomyces cerevisiae under ethanol and sorbitol stresses

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In response to osmotic stress, proline is accumulated in many bacterial and plant cells. During various stresses, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae induces glycerol or trehalose synthesis, but the fluctuations in gene expression and intracellular levels of proline in yeast are not yet well understood. We previously found that proline protects yeast cells from damage by freezing, oxidative, or ethanol stress. In this study, we examined the relationships between the gene expression profiles and intracellular contents of glycerol, trehalose, and proline under stress conditions. When yeast cells were exposed to 1 M sorbitol stress, the expression of GPD1 encoding glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase is induced, leading to glycerol accumulation. In contrast, in the presence of 9% ethanol, the rapid induction of TPS2 encoding trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase resulted in trehalose accumulation. We found that intracellular proline levels did not increase immediately after addition of sorbitol or ethanol. However, the expressions of genes involved in proline synthesis and degradation did not change during exposure to these stresses. It appears that the elevated proline levels are due primarily to an increase in proline uptake from a nutrient medium caused by the induction of PUT4. These results suggest that S. cerevisiae cells do not accumulate proline in response to sorbitol or ethanol stress different from other organisms.