Cold atmospheric pressure plasma causes protein denaturation and endoplasmic reticulum stress in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAP) does not cause thermal damage or generate toxic residues; hence, it is projected as an alternative agent for sterilization in food and pharmaceutical industries. The fungicidal effects of CAP have not yet been investigated as extensively as its bactericidal effects. We herein examined the effects of CAP on yeast proteins using a new CAP system with an improved processing capacity. We demonstrated that protein ubiquitination and the formation of protein aggregates were induced in the cytoplasm of yeast cells by the CAP treatment. GFP-tagged Tsa1 and Ssa1, an H2O2-responsive molecular chaperone and constitutively expressed Hsp70, respectively, formed cytoplasmic foci in CAP-treated cells. Furthermore, Tsa1 was essential for the formation of Ssa1-GFP foci. These results indicate that the denaturation of yeast proteins was caused by CAP, at least partially, in a H2O2-dependent manner. Furthermore, misfolded protein levels in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the oligomerization of Ire1, a key sensor of ER stress, were enhanced by the treatment with CAP, indicating that CAP causes ER stress in yeast cells as a specific phenomenon to eukaryotic cells. The pretreatment of yeast cells at 37 °C significantly alleviated cell death caused by CAP. Our results strongly suggest that the induction of protein denaturation is a primary mechanism of the fungicidal effects of CAP.
KeywordsCold atmospheric pressure plasma Fungicidal efficacy Sterilization Endoplasmic reticulum stress Protein denaturation Saccharomyces cerevisiae
We are grateful to N. Kawazoe for her constructive advice.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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