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Issue 9, 2018
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Molecular strategies to increase yeast iron accumulation and resistance

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All eukaryotic organisms rely on iron as an essential micronutrient for life because it participates as a redox-active cofactor in multiple biological processes. However, excess iron can generate reactive oxygen species that damage cellular macromolecules. The low solubility of ferric iron under physiological conditions increases the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia. A common strategy to treat iron deficiency consists of dietary iron supplementation. The baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is used as a model eukaryotic organism, but also as a feed supplement. In response to iron deficiency, the yeast Aft1 transcription factor activates cellular iron acquisition. However, when constitutively active, Aft1 inhibits growth probably due to iron toxicity. In this report, we have studied the consequences of using hyperactive AFT1 alleles, including AFT1-1UP, to increase yeast iron accumulation. We first characterized the iron sensitivity of cells expressing different constitutively active AFT1 alleles. We rescued the high iron sensitivity conferred by the AFT1 alleles by deleting the sphingolipid signaling kinase YPK1. We observed that the deletion of YPK1 exerts different effects on iron accumulation depending on the AFT1 allele and the environmental iron. Moreover, we determined that the impairment of the high-affinity iron transport system partially rescues the high iron toxicity of AFT1-1UP-expressing cells. Finally, we observed that AFT1-1UP inhibits oxygen consumption through activation of the RNA-binding protein Cth2. Deletion of CTH2 partially rescues the AFT1-1UP negative respiratory effect. Collectively, these results contribute to understand how the Aft1 transcription factor functions and the multiple consequences derived from its constitutive activation.

Graphical abstract: Molecular strategies to increase yeast iron accumulation and resistance

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Jun 2018, accepted on 26 Jul 2018 and first published on 26 Jul 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8MT00124C
Citation: Metallomics, 2018,10, 1245-1256

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    Molecular strategies to increase yeast iron accumulation and resistance

    L. Ramos-Alonso, N. Wittmaack, I. Mulet, C. A. Martínez-Garay, J. Fita-Torró, M. J. Lozano, A. M. Romero, C. García-Ferris, M. T. Martínez-Pastor and S. Puig, Metallomics, 2018, 10, 1245
    DOI: 10.1039/C8MT00124C

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