The molecular mechanism of tolerance to alkaline pH is well studied in model fungi Aspergillus nidulans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, how fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe survives under alkaline stress remains largely unknown, as the genes involved in the alkaline stress response pathways of A. nidulans and S. cerevisiae were not found in the genome of this organism. Since uptake of iron and copper into cells is important for alkaline tolerance in S. cerevisiae, here we examined whether iron and copper uptake processes were involved in conferring tolerance to alkaline stress in S. pombe. We first revealed that S. pombe wild-type strain could not grow at a pH higher than 6.7. We further found that the growths of mutants harboring disruption in the iron uptake-related gene frp1+, fio1+ or fip1+ were severely inhibited under ambient pH stress condition. In contrast, derepression of these genes, by deletion of their repressor gene fep1+, caused cells to acquire resistance to pH stress. Together, these results suggested that uptake of iron is essential for ambient pH tolerance in S. pombe. We also found that copper is required for the pH stress response because disruptants of ctr4+, ctr5+, ccc2+ and cuf1+ genes, all of which are needed for regulating intracellular Cu+, displayed ambient pH sensitivity. Furthermore, supplementing Fe2+ and Cu2+ ions to the culture media improved growth under ambient pH stress. Taken together, our results suggested that uptake of iron and copper is the crucial factor needed for the adaptation of S. pombe to ambient pH stress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology