Purine Auxotrophic Starvation Evokes Phenotype Similar to Stationary Phase Cells in Budding Yeast

Agnese Kokina (Coresponding Author), Kristel Tanilas, Zane Ozolina, Karlis Pleiko, Karlis Shvirksts, Ilze Vamza, Janis Liepins

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Purine auxotrophy is an abundant trait among eukaryotic parasites and a typical marker for many budding yeast strains. Supplementation with an additional purine source (such as adenine) is necessary to cultivate these strains. If not supplied in adequate amounts, purine starvation sets in. We explored purine starvation effects in a model organism, a budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae ade8 knockout, at the level of cellular morphology, central carbon metabolism, and global transcriptome. We observed that purine-starved cells stopped their cycle in G1/G0 state and accumulated trehalose, and the intracellular concentration of AXP decreased, but adenylate charge remained stable. Cells became tolerant to severe environmental stresses. Intracellular RNA concentration decreased, and massive downregulation of ribosomal biosynthesis genes occurred. We proved that the expression of new proteins during purine starvation is critical for cells to attain stress tolerance phenotype Msn2/4p targets are upregulated in purine-starved cells when compared to cells cultivated in purine-rich media. The overall transcriptomic response to purine starvation resembles that of stationary phase cells. Our results demonstrate that the induction of a strong stress resistance phenotype in budding yeast can be caused not only by natural starvation, but also starvation for metabolic intermediates, such as purines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Purines
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Starvation
  • Stress resistance

Field of Science*

  • 1.6 Biological sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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