Osmotic mass transfer in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Abstract : This paper reviews the passive mechanisms involved in the response of a yeast to changes in medium concentration and osmotic pressure. The results presented here were collected in our laboratory during the last decade and are experimentally based on the measurement of cell volume variations in response to changes in the medium composition. In the presence of isoosmotic concentration gradients of solutes between intracellular and extracellular media, mass transfers were found to be governed by the diffusion rate of the solutes through the cell membrane and were achieved within a few seconds. In the presence of osmotic gradients, mass transfers mainly consisting in a water flow were found to be rate limited by the mixing systems used to generate a change in the medium osmotic pressure. The use of ultra-rapid mixing systems allowed us to show that yeast cells respond to osmotic upshifts within a few milliseconds and to determine a very high hydraulic permeability for yeast membrane (Lp>6.10(-11) m x sec)-1) x Pa(-1)). This value suggested that yeast membrane may contain facilitators for water transfers between intra and extracellular media, i.e. aquaporins. Cell volume variation in response to osmotic gradients was only observed for osmotic gradients that exceeded the cell turgor pressure and the maximum cell volume decrease, observed during an hyperosmotic stress, corresponded to 60% of the initial yeast volume. These results showed that yeast membrane is highly permeable to water and that an important fraction of the intracellular content was rapidly transferred between intracellular and extracellular media in order to restore water balance after hyperosmotic stresses. Mechanisms implied in cell death resulting from these stresses are then discussed.
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  • HAL Id : hal-02292078, version 1
  • PUBMED : 11728097

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Patrick Gervais, Laurent Beney. Osmotic mass transfer in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.. Cellular and Molecular Biology, R. Wegmann, 2001, 47 (5), pp.831-9. ⟨hal-02292078⟩

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