Cell Biology

How Yeast Responds to Change

Science Signaling  29 Jan 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 4, pp. ec39
DOI: 10.1126/stke.14ec39

The origin of the rapid adaptive response of yeast cells to changes in environmental osmolarity has been unclear. Mettetal et al. (see the Perspective by Lipan) now show that increases in extracellular osmolarity activate the high-osmolarity glycerol signaling pathway, which changes transcription of particular target genes. By measuring the cellular response to pulses of medium with increased ionic strength, the authors were able to develop a predictive model of the dynamics of this regulatory system. Rather than changes in gene expression, which have often been suggested to be at the core of the response to osmotic shock, the fast response is actually dominated by a nontranscriptional response that probably involves altered glycerol transport.

J. T. Mettetal, D. Muzzey, C. Gómez-Uribe, A. van Oudenaarden, The frequency dependence of osmo-adaptation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Science 319, 482-484 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]

O. Lipan, Enlightening rhythms. Science 319, 417-418 (2008). [Summary] [Full Text]