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J Appl Microbiol. 2008 Apr;104(4):1092-102. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2007.03641.x. Epub 2008 Jan 7.

Extracellular methylglyoxal toxicity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: role of glucose and phosphate ions.

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1
Centro de Química e Bioquímica, Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal.

Abstract

AIM:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the behaviour of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in response to extracellular methylglyoxal.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Cell survival to methylglyoxal and the importance of phosphates was investigated. The role of methylglyoxal detoxification systems and methylglyoxal-derived protein glycation were studied and the relation to cell survival or death was evaluated. Extracellular methylglyoxal decreased cell viability, and the presence of phosphate enhanced this effect. D-glucose seems to exert a protective effect towards this toxicity. Methylglyoxal-induced cell death was not apoptotic and was not related to intracellular glycation processes. The glyoxalases and aldose reductase were important in methylglyoxal detoxification. Mutants lacking glyoxalase I and II showed increased sensitivity to methylglyoxal, while strains overexpressing these genes had increased resistance.

CONCLUSIONS:

Extracellular methylglyoxal induced non-apoptotic cell death, being unrelated to glycation. Inactivation of methylglyoxal-detoxifying enzymes by phosphate is one probable cause. Phosphate and D-glucose may also act through their complex involvement in stress response mechanisms.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

These findings contribute to elucidate the mechanisms of cell toxicity by methylglyoxal. This information could be useful to on-going studies using yeast as a eukaryotic cell model to investigate methylglyoxal-derived glycation and its role in neurodegenerative diseases.

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