Reference: Ottosson LG, et al. (2010) Sulfate Assimilation Mediates Tellurite Reduction and Toxicity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Eukaryot Cell 9(10):1635-1647

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Abstract

Despite a century of research and increasing environmental and human health concerns, the mechanistic basis for the toxicity and intracellular accumulation of derivates of the metalloid tellurium, in particular the oxyanion tellurite, remains unsolved. Here, we provide an unbiased view of mechanisms of tellurium metabolism in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae by measuring deviations in tellurium tolerance and accumulation of a complete collection of gene knockouts. Reduction of tellurite and concomitant intracellular accumulation as metallic tellurium strongly correlated with loss of cellular fitness, demonstrating that tellurite reduction and toxicity are causally linked. The sulfate assimilation pathway upstream of Met17 and in particular the sulfite reductase and its cofactor siroheme were shown to be central to tellurite toxicity and its reduction to elemental tellurium. Gene knockouts with a deviation in tellurite tolerance also showed a similar deviation in the tolerance to both selenite and, interestingly, selenomethionine. This suggests that the bioassimilation of selenium and tellurium into seleno- and telluromethionine via the sulfate assimilation pathway, with potential further incorporation into proteins, is an important cause of tellurite and selenite toxicity in yeast. The here reported results represent a robust base from which to attack the mechanistic details of this molecular enigma.

Reference Type
Journal Article
Authors
Ottosson LG, Logg K, Ibstedt S, Sunnerhagen P, Kall M, Blomberg A, Warringer J
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