Ribeiro RA, Godinho CP, Vitorino MV, Robalo TT, Fernandes F, Rodrigues MS, Sa-Correia I.

Acetic acid is a major inhibitory compound in several industrial bioprocesses, in particular in lignocellulosic yeast biorefineries. Cell envelope remodeling, involving cell wall and plasma membrane composition, structure and function, is among the mechanisms behind yeast adaptation and tolerance to stress. Pdr18 is a plasma membrane ABC transporter of the pleiotropic drug resistance family and a reported determinant of acetic acid tolerance mediating ergosterol transport. This study provides evidence for the impact of Pdr18 expression in yeast cell wall during adaptation to acetic acid stress. The time-course of acetic-acid-induced transcriptional activation of cell wall biosynthetic genes (FKS1BGL2CHS3GAS1) and of increased cell wall stiffness and cell wall polysaccharide content in cells with the PDR18 deleted, compared to parental cells, is reported. Despite the robust and more intense adaptive response of the pdr18Δ population, the stress-induced increase of cell wall resistance to lyticase activity was below parental strain levels, and the duration of the period required for intracellular pH recovery from acidification and growth resumption was higher in the less tolerant pdr18Δ population. The ergosterol content, critical for plasma membrane stabilization, suffered a drastic reduction in the first hour of cultivation under acetic acid stress, especially in pdr18Δ cells. Results revealed a crosstalk between plasma membrane ergosterol content and cell wall biophysical properties, suggesting a coordinated response to counteract the deleterious effects of acetic acid.

Doi: 10.3390/jof8020103

Cited as: Ribeiro RA, Godinho CP, Vitorino MV, Robalo TT, Fernandes F, Rodrigues MS, Sa-Correia I (2022) Crosstalk between Yeast Cell Plasma Membrane Ergosterol Content and Cell Wall Stiffness under Acetic Acid Stress Involving Pdr18. Journal of Fungi, 8(2), 103. doi: 10.3390/jof8020103