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Open AccessArticle

Extreme Low Cytosolic pH Is a Signal for Cell Survival in Acid Stressed Yeast

1
Department of Genetics, Biosciences Centre, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife 50670-901, Brazil
2
Molecular Biology and Microbial Food Safety, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 1098 XH Amsterdam, Netherlands
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2020, 11(6), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11060656
Received: 17 May 2020 / Revised: 10 June 2020 / Accepted: 12 June 2020 / Published: 16 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Microbial Adaptation to Low pH)
Yeast biomass is recycled in the process of bioethanol production using treatment with dilute sulphuric acid to control the bacterial population. This treatment can lead to loss of cell viability, with consequences on the fermentation yield. Thus, the aim of this study was to define the functional cellular responses to inorganic acid stress. Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with mutation in several signalling pathways, as well as cells expressing pH-sensitive GFP derivative ratiometric pHluorin, were tested for cell survival and cytosolic pH (pHc) variation during exposure to low external pH (pHex). Mutants in calcium signalling and proton extrusion were transiently sensitive to low pHex, while the CWI slt2Δ mutant lost viability. Rescue of this mutant was observed when cells were exposed to extreme low pHex or glucose starvation and was dependent on the induced reduction of pHc. Therefore, a lowered pHc leads to a complete growth arrest, which protects the cells from lethal stress and keeps cells alive. Cytosolic pH is thus a signal that directs the growth stress-tolerance trade-off in yeast. A regulatory model was proposed to explain this mechanism, indicating the impairment of glucan synthesis as the primary cause of low pHex sensitivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: calcium signalling; cell wall integrity pathway; cytosolic pH; membrane potential; PKC signalling; sulphuric acid calcium signalling; cell wall integrity pathway; cytosolic pH; membrane potential; PKC signalling; sulphuric acid
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lucena, R.M.; Dolz-Edo, L.; Brul, S.; de Morais, M.A., Jr.; Smits, G. Extreme Low Cytosolic pH Is a Signal for Cell Survival in Acid Stressed Yeast. Genes 2020, 11, 656.

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