An overview on glutathione in Saccharomyces versus non-conventional yeasts

FEMS Yeast Res. 2002 Aug;2(3):295-305. doi: 10.1016/S1567-1356(02)00081-8.


Glutathione (GSH: L-gamma-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine) is present in high concentrations up to 10 mM in yeast cells. Its very low redox potential (E'(o)=-240 mV for thiol disulfide exchange) gives this tripeptide the properties of a cellular redox buffer. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae and non-conventional yeasts (NCY), GSH may be involved in basic cellular functions such as the maintenance of mitochondrial and membrane integrity. GSH also assumes pivotal roles in (i) response to sulfur and nitrogen starvation; (ii) detoxification of endogenous toxic metabolites, such as excess formaldehyde produced during the growth of the methylotrophic yeasts Hansenula polymorpha, Candida boidinii and Kloeckera sp.; (iii) protection against oxidative stress provoked by exposure of the cells to reactive oxygen species including peroxides and hydroperoxides; (iv) detoxification of xenobiotics such as halogenated aromatics, alkylating agents and arsenite; (v) resistance to heavy-metal stress exemplified by the responses of S. cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe to cadmium salts; (vi) yeast<-->mycelium transition in Candida and Aureobasidium sp.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Glutathione / genetics
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Glutathione / physiology
  • Inactivation, Metabolic
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*


  • Glutathione