Exposure of yeast cells to anoxia induces transient oxidative stress. Implications for the induction of hypoxic genes

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Reinhard DirmeierRobert O Poyton


The mitochondrial respiratory chain is required for the induction of some yeast hypoxic nuclear genes. Because the respiratory chain produces reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can mediate intracellular signal cascades, we addressed the possibility that ROS are involved in hypoxic gene induction. Recent studies with mammalian cells have produced conflicting results concerning this question. These studies have relied almost exclusively on fluorescent dyes to measure ROS levels. Insofar as ROS are very reactive and inherently unstable, a more reliable method for measuring changes in their intracellular levels is to measure their damage (e.g. the accumulation of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) in DNA, and oxidative protein carbonylation) or to measure the expression of an oxidative stress-induced gene, e.g. SOD1. Here we used these approaches as well as a fluorescent dye, carboxy-H(2)-dichloro-dihydrofluorescein diacetate (carboxy-H(2)-DCFDA), to determine whether ROS levels change in yeast cells exposed to anoxia. These studies reveal that the level of mitochondrial and cytosolic protein carbonylation, the level of 8-OH-dG in mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, and the expression of SOD1 all increase transiently during a shift...Continue Reading


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