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Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 2009 May 29;53(Pt 3):155-64. doi: 10.1042/BA20090029.

Stress-tolerance of baker's-yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) cells: stress-protective molecules and genes involved in stress tolerance.

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  • 1National Food Research Institute, 2-1-12 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8642, Japan.


During the fermentation of dough and the production of baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), cells are exposed to numerous environmental stresses (baking-associated stresses) such as freeze-thaw, high sugar concentrations, air-drying and oxidative stresses. Cellular macromolecules, including proteins, nucleic acids and membranes, are seriously damaged under stress conditions, leading to the inhibition of cell growth, cell viability and fermentation. To avoid lethal damage, yeast cells need to acquire a variety of stress-tolerant mechanisms, for example the induction of stress proteins, the accumulation of stress protectants, changes in membrane composition and repression of translation, and by regulating the corresponding gene expression via stress-triggered signal-transduction pathways. Trehalose and proline are considered to be critical stress protectants, as is glycerol. It is known that these molecules are effective for providing protection against various types of environmental stresses. Modifications of the metabolic pathways of trehalose and proline by self-cloning methods have significantly increased tolerance to baking-associated stresses. To clarify which genes are required for stress tolerance, both a comprehensive phenomics analysis and a functional genomics analysis were carried out under stress conditions that simulated those occurring during the commercial baking process. These analyses indicated that many genes are involved in stress tolerance in yeast. In particular, it was suggested that vacuolar H+-ATPase plays important roles in yeast cells under stress conditions.

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