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FEBS Lett. 2000 Dec 29;487(2):199-202.

Intracellular trehalose improves osmotolerance but not desiccation tolerance in mammalian cells.

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Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, CB2 1QT, Cambridge, UK.


Trehalose has been shown to play a role in osmotolerance or desiccation tolerance in some microorganisms, anhydrobiotic invertebrates and resurrection plants. To test whether trehalose could improve stress responses of higher eukaryotes, a mouse cell line was genetically engineered to express bacterial trehalose synthase genes. We report that the resulting levels of intracellular trehalose ( approximately 80 mM) are able to confer increased resistance to the partial dehydration resulting from hypertonic stress, but do not enable survival of complete desiccation due to air drying.

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