Severe ethanol stress induces assembly of stress granules in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Yeast. 2011 May;28(5):339-47. doi: 10.1002/yea.1842. Epub 2011 Feb 22.


Stress granules (SGs) and processing bodies (P bodies) are cytoplasmic domains and play a role in the control of translation and mRNA turnover in mammalian cells subjected to environmental stress. Recent studies have revealed that SGs also form in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in response to glucose depletion and robust heat shock. However, information about the types of stress that cause budding yeast SGs is quite limited. Here we demonstrate that severe ethanol stress generates budding yeast SGs in a manner independent of the phosphorylation of eIF2α. The concentration that generated budding yeast SGs (>10%) was higher than that causing P bodies (>6%), and P bodies were assembled prior to SGs. As well as mammalian SGs, the assembly of budding yeast SGs under ethanol stress was blocked by cycloheximide. On the other hand, the budding yeast SGs caused by ethanol stress contained eIF3c but not eIF3a and eIF3b, although the eIF3 complex is a core constituent of mammalian SGs. Moreover, null mutants (pbp1Δ, pub1Δ and tif4632Δ) with a strong reduction in SG formation did not resume proliferation after the elimination of ethanol stress, indicating that the formation of budding yeast SGs might play a role in sufficient recovery from ethanol stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / drug effects*
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / metabolism
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage*
  • Ethanol / metabolism
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2 / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Phosphorylation
  • Plasmids
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Stress, Physiological / drug effects*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology


  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2
  • Ethanol
  • Cycloheximide