Toxicity of Methanol and Formaldehyde Towards Saccharomyces cerevisiae as Assessed by DNA Microarray Analysis
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To assess the toxicity of the C1 compounds methanol and formaldehyde, gene expression profiles of treated baker’s yeast were analyzed using DNA microarrays. Among approximately 6,000 open reading frames (ORFs), 314 were repressed and 375 were induced in response to methanol. The gene process category “energy” comprised the greatest number of induced genes while “protein synthesis” comprised the greatest number of repressed genes. Products of genes induced by methanol were mainly integral membrane proteins or were localized to the plasma membrane. A total of 622 and 610 ORFs were induced or repressed by formaldehyde, respectively. More than one-third of the genes found to be strongly repressed by formaldehyde belonged to the “protein synthesis” functional category. Conversely, genes in the subcategory of “nitrogen, sulfur, and selenium metabolism” within “metabolism” and in the category of “cell rescue, defense, and virulence” were up-regulated by exposure to formaldehyde. Our data suggest that membrane structure is a major target of methanol toxicity, while proteins were major targets of formaldehyde toxicity.