Bioactive steroids as contaminants of the common carbon source galactose

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 Feb 15;159(2):167-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1998.tb12856.x.


Most inducible expression vectors for the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae are based on galactose-inducible promoters. Yeast has been increasingly used to study vertebrate steroid receptors because of its powerful genetics. In principle, both regulatory systems are compatible and can be combined in the same strain. However, we found that commercial galactose can be contaminated by bioactive estrogen and progesterone at concentrations that are sufficient to fully activate their cognate receptors. Since steroids can elicit biological responses in pathogenic fungi and possibly other microorganisms, such contaminants in a commonly used fermentable carbon source may need to be screened for.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Contamination*
  • Estrogens / analysis*
  • Galactose / analysis*
  • Galactose / pharmacology
  • Progesterone / analysis*
  • Receptors, Steroid / drug effects


  • Estrogens
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Progesterone
  • Galactose