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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2004 Apr;68(4):968-72.

Effect of ethanol on cell growth of budding yeast: genes that are important for cell growth in the presence of ethanol.

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Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Graduate School of Advanced Sciences of Matter, Hiroshima University, Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan.


The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been used in the fermentation of various kinds of alcoholic beverages. But the effect of ethanol on the cell growth of this yeast is poorly understood. This study shows that the addition of ethanol causes a cell-cycle delay associated with a transient dispersion of F-actin cytoskeleton, resulting in an increase in cell size. We found that the tyrosine kinase Swe1, the negative regulator of Cdc28-Clb kinase, is related to the regulation of cell growth in the presence of ethanol. Indeed, the increase in cell size due to ethanol was partially abolished in the SWE1-deleted cells, and the amount of Swe1 protein increased transiently in the presence of ethanol. These results indicated that Swe1 is involved in cell size control in the presence of ethanol, and that a signal produced by ethanol causes a transient up-regulation of Swe1. Further we investigated comprehensively the ethanol-sensitive strains in the complete set of 4847 non-essential gene deletions and identified at least 256 genes that are important for cell growth in the presence of ethanol.

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