DNA damage-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) stress response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Free Radic Biol Med. 2008 Oct 15;45(8):1167-77. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2008.07.018. Epub 2008 Jul 30.


Cells are exposed to both endogenous and exogenous sources of reactive oxygen species (ROS). At high levels, ROS can lead to impaired physiological function through cellular damage of DNA, proteins, lipids, and other macromolecules, which can lead to certain human pathologies including cancers, neurodegenerative disorders, and cardiovascular disease, as well as aging. We have employed Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system to examine the levels and types of ROS that are produced in response to DNA damage in isogenic strains with different DNA repair capacities. We find that when DNA damage is introduced into cells from exogenous or endogenous sources there is an increase in the amount of intracellular ROS which is not directly related to cell death. We have examined the spectrum of ROS in order to elucidate its role in the cellular response to DNA damage. As an independent verification of the DNA damage-induced ROS response, we show that a major activator of the oxidative stress response, Yap1, relocalizes to the nucleus following exposure to the DNA-alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate. Our results indicate that the DNA damage-induced increase in intracellular ROS levels is a generalized stress response that is likely to function in various signaling pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • DNA Damage / physiology*
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • YAP1 protein, S cerevisiae