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Mycobiology. 2010 Dec;38(4):302-9. doi: 10.4489/MYCO.2010.38.4.302. Epub 2010 Dec 31.

Proteomic Evaluation of Cellular Responses of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Formic Acid Stress.

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Research Station, Nanotoxtech Inc., Ansan 426-901, Korea.


Formic acid is a representative carboxylic acid that inhibits bacterial cell growth, and thus it is generally considered to constitute an obstacle to the reuse of renewable biomass. In this study, Saccharomyces cerevisiae was used to elucidate changes in protein levels in response to formic acid. Fifty-seven differentially expressed proteins in response to formic acid toxicity in S. cerevisiae were identified by 1D-PAGE and nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (nano-LC-MS/MS) analyses. Among the 28 proteins increased in expression, four were involved in the MAP kinase signal transduction pathway and one in the oxidative stress-induced pathway. A dramatic increase was observed in the number of ion transporters related to maintenance of acid-base balance. Regarding the 29 proteins decreased in expression, they were found to participate in transcription during cell division. Heat shock protein 70, glutathione reductase, and cytochrome c oxidase were measured by LC-MS/MS analysis. Taken together, the inhibitory action of formic acid on S. cerevisiae cells might disrupt the acid-base balance across the cell membrane and generate oxidative stress, leading to repressed cell division and death. S. cerevisiae also induced expression of ion transporters, which may be required to maintain the acid-base balance when yeast cells are exposed to high concentrations of formic acid in growth medium.


Formic acid; MAPK signal transduction; Nano-LC-MS/MS; Proteomics; Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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