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Mol Cells. 2012 Aug;34(2):127-32. doi: 10.1007/s10059-012-2242-0. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Expression profiling reveals an unexpected growth-stimulating effect of surplus iron on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, People's Republic of China.


Iron homeostasis plays a crucial role in growth and division of cells in all kingdoms of life. Although yeast iron metabolism has been extensively studied, little is known about the molecular mechanism of response to surplus iron. In this study, expression profiling of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the presence of surplus iron revealed a dual effect at 1 and 4 h. A cluster of stress-responsive genes was upregulated via activation of the stress-resistance transcription factor Msn4, which indicated the stress effect of surplus iron on yeast metabolism. Genes involved in aerobic metabolism and several anabolic pathways are also upregulated in iron-surplus conditions, which could significantly accelerate yeast growth. This dual effect suggested that surplus iron might participate in a more complex metabolic network, in addition to serving as a stress inducer. These findings contribute to our understanding of the global response of yeast to the fluctuating availability of iron in the environment.

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