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J Bacteriol. 1989 Feb;171(2):1087-92.

Roles of glycerol and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (NAD+) in acquired osmotolerance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Marine Microbiology, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


In a cell culture of Saccharomyces cerevisiae exponentially growing in basal medium, only 0.02% of the cells were osmotolerant, i.e., survived transfer to medium containing 1.4 M NaCl. Short-time conditioning in 0.7 M NaCl medium transformed the whole population into an osmotolerance phenotype. During this conditioning, the rate of formation of glycerol, the main compatible solute in S. cerevisiae, increased threefold and the specific activity of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (NAD+) (GPDH) (EC was enhanced sixfold. The apparent flux control coefficient for GPDH in the formation of glycerol was estimated to be 0.6. Glycerol production was also favored by regulated activities of alcohol dehydrogenase (EC and aldehyde dehydrogenase [NAD(P)]+ (EC About 50% of the total glycerol produced during conditioning in 0.7 M NaCl was retained intracellularly, and the increased glycerol accumulation was shown to be not merely a result of enhanced production rate but also of increased retention of glycerol. Washing the cells with solutions of lower salinities resulted in loss of glycerol, with retained levels proportional to the concentration of NaCl in the washing solution. Cycloheximide addition inhibited the development of acquired osmotolerance and conditioned cells washed free of glycerol retained a high degree of osmotolerance, which indicate that protein synthesis was required to establish the osmotolerance state.

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