Current Genetics

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 12–18 | Cite as

Characterization of the osmotic-stress response inSaccharomyces cerevisiae: osmotic stress and glucose repression regulate glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase independently

  • Jacobus Albertyn
  • Stefan Hohmann
  • Bernard A. Prior
Original Articles


Micro-organisms have developed systems to adapt to sudden changes in the environment. Here we describe the response of the yeastSaccharomyces cerevisiae to osmotic stress. A drop in the water activity (aw) of the medium following the addition of NaCl led to an immediate shrinkage of the cells. During the 2 h following the osmotic shock the cells partially restored their cell volume. This process depended on active protein synthesis. During the recovery period the cells accumulated glycerol intracellularly as a compatible solute and very little glycerol was leaking out of the cell. We have investigated in more detail the enzymes of glycerol metabolism and found that only the cytoplasmic glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase was strongly induced. The level of induction was dependent on the yeast strain used and the degree of osmotic stress. The synthesis of cytoplasmic glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase is also regulated by glucose repression. Using mutants defective in glucose repression (hxk2Δ), or derepression (snf1Δ), and with invertase as a marker enzyme, we show that glucose repression and the osmotic-stress response system regulate glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase synthesis independently. We infer that specific control mechanisms sense the osmotic situation of the cell and induce responses such as the production and retention of glycerol.

Key words

Osmotic stress Glycerol Glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase Glucose repression 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacobus Albertyn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefan Hohmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bernard A. Prior
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and BiochemistryThe University of the Orange Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  2. 2.Laboratorium voor Moleculaire Celbiologie, Instituut voor PlantkundeKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuven-Heverlee, FlandersBelgium

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