Current Genetics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 207–213 | Cite as

Glutathione metabolism and heavy metal detoxification in Schizosaccharomyces pombe

Isolation and characterization of glutathione-deficient, cadmium-sensitive mutants
  • Hermann Glaeser
  • Anke Coblenz
  • Renate Kruczek
  • Ines Ruttke
  • Andrea Ebert-Jung
  • Klaus Wolf
Original Articles


Sixty glutathione-deficient mutants (gsh) of Schizosaccharomyces pombe have been isolated by their resistance towards the mutagen N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) and their sensitivity to the heavy metal Cadmium (Cd). fifty-three mutants show glutathione contents of less than 5% compared with the wild-type. The residual glutathione contents correlate with the resistance to MNNG, with the sensitivity to Cd and with the growth rate in minimal medium. The gsh, Cd-sensitive (Cds) mutants also show sensitivity to other heavy metals. Wild-type strains, but not the gsh mutants, are able to excrete the heavy metal, very likely as a sulfide-containing compound. This inability of the mutants to excrete Cd and other heavy metals causes an increase in Cd accumulation in the gsh mutants versus the wild-type. In 60% of the mutants the glutathione deficiency is very likely due to a deficiency in the enzyme glutathione synthetase (GS), the other 40% appear to be deficient in gamma-glutamyl-cysteine synthetase (GCS).

Key words

Glutathione Heavy metals Phytochelatins Fission yeast Cadmium 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann Glaeser
    • 1
  • Anke Coblenz
    • 1
  • Renate Kruczek
    • 1
  • Ines Ruttke
    • 1
  • Andrea Ebert-Jung
    • 1
  • Klaus Wolf
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Mikrobiologie und Weinforschung der Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitätMainzFederal Republic of Germany

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