Acquired resistance to severe ethanol stress-induced inhibition of proteasomal proteolysis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Biochim Biophys Acta Gen Subj. 2022 Dec;1866(12):130241. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2022.130241. Epub 2022 Sep 6.


Background: Although the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, produces ethanol via alcoholic fermentation, high-concentration ethanol is harmful to yeast cells. Severe ethanol stress (> 9% v/v) inhibits protein synthesis and increases the level of intracellular protein aggregates. However, its effect on proteolysis in yeast cells remains largely unknown.

Methods: We examined the effects of ethanol on proteasomal proteolysis in yeast cells through the cycloheximide-chase analysis of short-lived proteins. We also assayed protein degradation in the auxin-inducible degron system and the ubiquitin-independent degradation of Spe1 under ethanol stress conditions.

Results: We demonstrated that severe ethanol stress strongly inhibited the degradation of the short-lived proteins Rim101 and Gic2. Severe ethanol stress also inhibited protein degradation in the auxin-inducible degron system (Paf1-AID*-6FLAG) and the ubiquitin-independent degradation of Spe1. Proteasomal degradation of these proteins, which was inhibited by severe ethanol stress, resumed rapidly once the ethanol was removed. These results suggested that proteasomal proteolysis in yeast cells is reversibly inhibited by severe ethanol stress. Furthermore, yeast cells pretreated with mild ethanol stress (6% v/v) showed proteasomal proteolysis even with 10% (v/v) ethanol, indicating that yeast cells acquired resistance to proteasome inhibition caused by severe ethanol stress. However, yeast cells failed to acquire sufficient resistance to severe ethanol stress-induced proteasome inhibition when new protein synthesis was blocked with cycloheximide during pretreatment, or when Rpn4 was lost.

Conclusions and general significance: Our results provide novel insights into the adverse effects of severe ethanol stress on proteasomal proteolysis and ethanol adaptability in yeast.

Keywords: Acquired resistance; Auxin inducible degron; Proteasomal proteolysis; Rpn4; Severe ethanol stress; Short-lived proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Ethanol / metabolism
  • Ethanol / pharmacology
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism
  • Proteolysis
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins* / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae* / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism


  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Ethanol
  • Cycloheximide
  • Ubiquitin
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • GIC2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • PAF1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Nuclear Proteins