The proline metabolism intermediate Δ(1)-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) induces cell death in animals, plants and yeasts. To elucidate how P5C triggers cell death, we analyzed P5C metabolism, mitochondrial respiration and superoxide anion generation in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Gene disruption analysis revealed that P5C-mediated cell death was not due to P5C metabolism. Interestingly, deficiency in mitochondrial respiration suppressed the sensitivity of yeast cells to P5C. In addition, we found that P5C inhibits the mitochondrial respiration and induces a burst of superoxide anions from the mitochondria. We propose that P5C regulates cell death via the inhibition of mitochondrial respiration.
Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.