The molecular mechanisms involved in the ability of cells to adapt and respond to differing oxygen tensions are of great interest to the pharmaceutical, medical and fermentation industries. The transcriptional profiles reported in previous studies of cells grown under anaerobic, aerobic and dynamic growth conditions have shown significantly altered responses including induction of genes regulated by the oxidative stress transcription factor Yap1p when oxygen was present. The present study investigated the phenotypic changes that occur in cells when shifted from anaerobic to aerobic growth conditions and it was found through mutant analyses that the elevated activity of Yap1p during the shift was mediated by the phospholipid hydroperoxide-sensing protein encoded by GPX3. Cell viability and growth rate were unaffected even though anaerobically grown cells were found to be hypersensitive to low doses of the oxidative stress-inducing compound hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)). Adaptation to H(2)O(2) treatment was demonstrated to occur when anaerobically grown wild-type cells were aerated for a short time that was reliant on the Yap1p and Skn7p transcription factors.