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Sensors 2008, 8(10), 6433-6447; doi:10.3390/s8106433
Article

Real-time Monitoring of Non-specific Toxicity Using a Saccharomyces cerevisiae Reporter System

1,* , 1
,
3
 and
1,2
1 Department of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 541, FI- 33101 Tampere, Finland 2 Biosensing Competence Centre (BCC), Tampere University of Technology, P.O. Box 541, FI- 33101 Tampere, Finland 3 Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology Division of Microbiology, P.O. Box 56, FI-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2008 / Revised: 27 September 2008 / Accepted: 7 October 2008 / Published: 16 October 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxin Sensors)
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Abstract

Baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is the simplest and most well-known representative of eukaryotic cells and thus a convenient model organism for evaluating toxic effects in human cells and tissues. Yeast cell sensors are easy to maintain with short generation times, which makes the analytical method of assessing antifungal toxicity cheap and less-time consuming. In this work, the toxicity of test compounds was assessed in bioassays based on bioluminescence inhibition and on traditional growth inhibition on agar plates. The model organism in both tests was a modified S. cerevisiae sensor strain that produces light when provided with D-luciferin in an insect luciferase reporter gene activity assay. The bioluminescence assay showed toxic effects for yeast cell sensor of 5,6-benzo-flavone, rapamycin, nystatin and cycloheximide at concentrations of nM to µM. In addition, arsenic compounds, cadmium chloride, copper sulfate and lead acetate were shown to be potent non-specific inhibitors of the reporter organism described here. The results from a yeast agar diffusion assay correlated with the bioluminescence assay results.
Keywords: Luciferase reporter gene; Photinus pyralis; bioluminescence; rapamycin; toxic metal Luciferase reporter gene; Photinus pyralis; bioluminescence; rapamycin; toxic metal
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Välimaa, A.-L.; Kivistö, A.; Virta, M.; Karp, M. Real-time Monitoring of Non-specific Toxicity Using a Saccharomyces cerevisiae Reporter System. Sensors 2008, 8, 6433-6447.

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