Elimination of the last reactions in ergosterol biosynthesis alters the resistance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to multiple stresses

Guodong Liu, Yun Chen, Nils J. Færgeman, Jens Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The sterol composition of membranes is known to influence many phenotypes of yeast. However, a systematic study of the relationship between sterol composition and stress resistances has not been conducted. Here, we therefore constructed single or double gene deletion mutants of the last four enzymes in ergosterol biosynthesis in a prototrophic genetic background of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Identification of the sterol composition of these mutants revealed a high flexibility of the sterol-processing steps instead of the previously proposed sequential conversion. Compared with the wild type, the mutants showed altered resistances to different exogenous stresses regarding the specific growth rate and duration of lag phase. The erg5 deletion mutant whose sterol has a saturated side chain exhibited overall robust growth under the tested stress conditions. The thermotolerant phenotype of erg5 deletion mutant was reproduced in filamentous fungus Penicillium oxalicum. These results highlight the important role of sterols in the response of yeast cells to environmental stresses, and suggest the possibility of improving the robustness of industrial yeast strains by engineering their sterol composition.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfox063
JournalFEMS Yeast Research
Volume17
Issue number6
Number of pages8
ISSN1567-1356
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Fitness
  • Growth rate
  • Membrane lipid
  • Sterol
  • Stress
  • Yeast

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