Yeast osmoregulation - glycerol still in pole position

FEMS Yeast Res. 2022 Aug 30;22(1):foac035. doi: 10.1093/femsyr/foac035.


In response to osmotic dehydration cells sense, signal, alter gene expression, and metabolically counterbalance osmotic differences. The main compatible solute/osmolyte that accumulates in yeast cells is glycerol, which is produced from the glycolytic intermediate dihydroxyacetone phosphate. This review covers recent advancements in understanding mechanisms involved in sensing, signaling, cell-cycle delays, transcriptional responses as well as post-translational modifications on key proteins in osmoregulation. The protein kinase Hog1 is a key-player in many of these events, however, there is also a growing body of evidence for important Hog1-independent mechanisms playing vital roles. Several missing links in our understanding of osmoregulation will be discussed and future avenues for research proposed. The review highlights that this rather simple experimental system-salt/sorbitol and yeast-has developed into an enormously potent model system unravelling important fundamental aspects in biology.

Keywords: cell cycle delay; gene expression; osmo-sensing; osmo-signaling; osmoregulation; yeast.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Glycerol / metabolism
  • Osmoregulation
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins* / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins* / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae* / metabolism
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Glycerol