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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2005 Feb 1;243(1):87-92.

Diagnosis of cell death induced by methylglyoxal, a metabolite derived from glycolysis, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan.


Methylglyoxal (MG) is a ubiquitous metabolite derived from glycolysis; however, this aldehyde kills all types of cell. We analyzed the properties of MG-induced cell death of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The MCA1 gene encodes a caspase homologue that is involved in H2O2-induced apoptosis in yeast, although the disruption of MCA1 did not repress sensitivity to MG. In addition, the intracellular oxidation level did not increase under conditions in which MG kills the cell. Furthermore, the disruption of genes encoding antioxidant enzymes did not affect the susceptibility to MG. Here, we demonstrate that yeast cells killed by MG do not exhibit the characteristics of apoptosis in a TUNEL assay or an annexin V staining, but show those of necrosis upon propidium iodide staining. We demonstrate that MG at high concentrations provokes necrotic cell death without the generation of reactive oxygen species in S. cerevisiae.

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