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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2003 Jan;30(1):57-69. Epub 2003 Jan 3.

Microarray analyses of the metabolic responses of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to organic solvent dimethyl sulfoxide.

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Paradigm Genetics Inc., Microbial research group, 108 Alexander Drive, 27709, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


The toxic effects that organic solvents have on whole cells are important drawbacks in the application of these solvents in the production of fine chemicals by whole-cell stereoselective biotransformations. Although early studies found that organic solvents mainly destroyed the integrity of cell membranes by accumulating in the lipid bilayer of plasma membranes, the cellular metabolic responses to the presence of an organic solvent remain unclear. With the rapid development of genomics, it is possible to study cellular metabolism under perturbed conditions at the genome level. In this paper, the global gene expression profiles of Saccharomyces cerevisiae BY4743 grown in media with a high concentration of the organic solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) were determined by microarray analysis of ~6,200 yeast open reading frames (ORFs). From cells grown in SD minimal medium containing 1.0% (v/v) DMSO, changes in transcript abundance greater than or equal to 2.5-fold were classified. Genomic analyses showed that 1,338 genes were significantly regulated by the presence of DMSO in yeast. Among them, only 400 genes were previously found to be responsive to general environmental stresses, such as temperature shock, amino acid starvation, nitrogen source depletion, and progression into stationary phase. The DMSO-responsive genes were involved in a variety of cellular functions, including carbohydrate, amino acid and lipid metabolism, cellular stress responses, and energy metabolism. Most of the genes in the lipid biosynthetic pathways were down-regulated by DMSO treatment, whereas genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis were mostly up-regulated. The results demonstrate that the application of microarray technology allows better interpretation of metabolic responses, and the information obtained will be useful for the construction of engineered yeast strains with better tolerance of organic solvents.

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