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Transcriptome shifts in response to furfural and acetic acid in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

  • Genomics, Transcriptomics, Proteomics
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Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Furfural and acetic acid are two prevalent inhibitors to microorganisms during cellulosic ethanol production, but molecular mechanisms of tolerance to these inhibitors are still unclear. In this study, genome-wide transcriptional responses to furfural and acetic acid were investigated in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using microarray analysis. We found that 103 and 227 genes were differentially expressed in the response to furfural and acetic acid, respectively. Furfural downregulated genes related to transcriptional control and translational control, while it upregulated stress-responsive genes. Furthermore, furfural also interrupted the transcription of genes involved in metabolism of essential chemicals, such as etrahydrofolate, spermidine, spermine, and riboflavin monophosphate. Acetic acid downregulated genes encoding mitochondrial ribosomal proteins and genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and regulation and upregulated genes related to amino acid metabolism. The results revealed that furfural and acetic acid had effects on multiple aspects of cellular metabolism on the transcriptional level and that mitochondria might play important roles in response to both furfural and acetic acid. This research has provided insights into molecular response to furfural and acetic acid in S. cerevisiae, and it will be helpful to construct more resistant strains for cellulosic ethanol production.

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The authors are grateful for the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Key Program Grant No. 20736006), the National Basic Research Program of China (“973” Program: 2007CB714301), Key Projects in the National Science and Technology Pillar Program (No.2007BAD42B02), and the International collaboration project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (2006DFA62400).

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Correspondence to Ying-Jin Yuan.

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Table S1

Differentially expressed genes in response to furfural and acetic acid (DOC 47 kb)

Table S2

Downregulated genes involved in transcriptional control and RNA processing in response to furfural addition (DOC 48 kb)

Table S3

Downregulated genes involved in regulation of C-compound and carbohydrate metabolism in response to acetic acid (DOC 38 kb)

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Li, BZ., Yuan, YJ. Transcriptome shifts in response to furfural and acetic acid in Saccharomyces cerevisiae . Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 86, 1915–1924 (2010).

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