Reduction of nucleic acid content in Candida yeast cells by bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A treatment

Appl Microbiol. 1971 Sep;22(3):422-7. doi: 10.1128/am.22.3.422-427.1971.


Yeast as a source of protein for human consumption is limited by its relatively high nucleic acid content. In this study, we developed an enzymatic method of decreasing the nucleic acid content. Candida utilis cells, heat-shocked at 80 C for 30 sec, were treated with bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A. Maximum leakage of nucleic acid was observed when the incubation temperature was between 55 and 65 C, the pH of the system from 6.75 to 8.0, and the enzyme-to-cell ratio 1:10,000 on a weight-by-weight basis. Other factors, such as yeast strain, age of cells, and method of propagation, did not influence the susceptibility of the yeast cells to the action of ribonuclease. Buffers and monovalent cations had no inhibiting effects. Magnesium and calcium ions at concentrations greater than 0.001 m showed marked inhibition on the rate of nucleic acid leakage. This enzymatic method reduced the nucleic acid content of yeast cells from 7.5 to 9.0% to 1.5 to 2.0% with no significant concomitant loss of protein.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Animals
  • Calcium / pharmacology
  • Candida / analysis
  • Candida / drug effects
  • Candida / growth & development
  • Candida / metabolism*
  • Cattle
  • Culture Media
  • Food
  • Hot Temperature
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hydrolysis
  • Magnesium / pharmacology
  • Nucleic Acid Denaturation
  • Nucleic Acids / analysis
  • Nucleic Acids / metabolism*
  • Nucleotides / analysis
  • Pancreas / enzymology
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Ribonucleases / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors


  • Amino Acids
  • Culture Media
  • Nucleic Acids
  • Nucleotides
  • Proteins
  • Ribonucleases
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium