Characterization of alcohol-induced filamentous growth in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Diploid cells of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae starved for nitrogen differentiate into a filamentous growth form. Poor carbon sources such as starches can also stimulate filamentation, whereas haploid cells undergo a similar invasive growth response in rich medium. Previous work has demonstrated a role for various alcohols, by-products of amino acid metabolism, in altering cellular morphology. We found that several alcohols, notably isoamyl alcohol and 1-butanol, stimulate filamentous growth in haploid cells in which this differentiation is normally repressed. Butanol also induces cell elongation and changes in budding pattern, leading to a pseudohyphal morphology, even in liquid medium. The filamentous colony morphology and cell elongation require elements of the pheromone-responsive MAPK cascade and TEC1, whereas components of the nutrient-sensing machinery, such as MEP2, GPA2, and GPR1, do not affect this phenomenon. A screen for 1-butanol-insensitive mutants identified additional proteins that regulate polarized growth (BUD8, BEM1, BEM4, and FIG1), mitochondrial function (MSM1, MRP21, and HMI1), and a transcriptional regulator (CHD1). Furthermore, we have also found that ethanol stimulates hyperfilamentation in diploid cells, again in a MAPK-dependent manner. Together, these results suggest that yeast may sense a combination of nutrient limitation and metabolic by-products to regulate differentiation.
Lorenz, MC; Cutler, NS; Heitman, J
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