Tolerance and stress response to ethanol in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009 Nov;85(2):253-63. doi: 10.1007/s00253-009-2223-1. Epub 2009 Sep 16.


Eukaryotic cells have developed diverse strategies to combat the harmful effects of a variety of stress conditions. In the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the increased concentration of ethanol, as the primary fermentation product, will influence the membrane fluidity and be toxic to membrane proteins, leading to cell growth inhibition and even death. Though little is known about the complex signal network responsible for alcohol stress responses in yeast cells, several mechanisms have been reported to be associated with this process, including changes in gene expression, in membrane composition, and increases in chaperone proteins that help stabilize other denatured proteins. Here, we review the recent progresses in our understanding of ethanol resistance and stress responses in yeast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / physiology
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Ergosterol / metabolism
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Inositol / physiology
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Stress, Physiological / drug effects*


  • Amino Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Ethanol
  • Inositol
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases
  • Ergosterol