Survival of starving yeast is correlated with oxidative stress response and nonrespiratory mitochondrial function

Allegra A. Petti, Christopher A. Crutchfield, Joshua D. Rabinowitz, David Botstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Survival of yeast during starvation has been shown to depend on the nature of the missing nutrient(s). In general, starvation for "natural" nutrients such as sources of carbon, phosphate, nitrogen, or sulfate results in low death rates, whereas starvation for amino acids or other metabolites in auxotrophic mutants results in rapid loss of viability. Here we characterized phenotype, gene expression, and metabolite abundance during starvation for methionine. Some methionine auxotrophs (those with blocks in the biosynthetic pathway) respond to methionine starvation like yeast starving for natural nutrients such as phosphate or sulfate: they undergo a uniform cell cycle arrest, conserve glucose, and survive. In contrast, methionine auxotrophs with defects in the transcription factors Met31p and Met32p respond poorly, like other auxotrophs. We combined physiological and gene expression data from a variety of nutrient starvations (in both respiratory competent and incompetent cells) to show that successful starvation response is correlated with expression of genes encoding oxidative stress response and nonrespiratory mitochondrial functions, but not respiration per se.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1089-E1098
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 8 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Longevity
  • Mitochondrion
  • Warburg effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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