Characterization of the adaptive response and growth upon hyperosmotic shock in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Mol Biosyst. 2011 Apr;7(4):1138-48. doi: 10.1039/c0mb00224k. Epub 2011 Jan 14.


Molecular and physiological details of osmoadaptation in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae are well characterized. It is well known that a cell, upon osmotic shock, delays its growth, produces a compatible solute like glycerol in yeast to maintain the osmotic equilibrium. Many genes are regulated by the hyperosmolarity glycerol (HOG) singling pathway, some of which in turn control the carbon flux in the glycolytic pathway for glycerol synthesis and reduced growth. The whole process of survival of cells under hyperosmotic stress is controlled at multiple levels in signaling and metabolic pathways. To better understand the multi-level regulations in yeast to osmotic shock, a mathematical model is formulated which integrates the growth and the osmoadaptation process. The model included the HOG pathway which consists of Sho1 and Sln1 signaling branches, gene regulation, metabolism and cell growth on glucose and ethanol. Experiments were performed to characterize the effect of various concentrations of salt on the wild-type and mutant strains. The model was able to successfully predict the experimental observations for both the wild-type and mutant strains. Further, the model was used to analyze the effects of various regulatory mechanisms prevalent in the signaling and metabolic pathways which are essential in achieving optimum growth in a saline medium. The analysis demonstrated the relevance of the combined effects of regulation at several points in the signaling and metabolic pathways including activation of GPD1 and GPD2, inhibition of PYK and PDC1, closure of the Fps1 channel, volume effect on the glucose uptake rate, downregulation of ethanol synthesis and upregulation of ALD6 for acetate synthesis. The analysis demonstrated that these combined effects orchestrated the phenomena of adaptation to osmotic stress in yeast.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Biomass
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Glycerol / metabolism
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Phosphorylation
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • HOG1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Glycerol