Iron deficiency causes oversynthesis of riboflavin in several yeast species, known as flavinogenic yeasts. Under iron deprivation conditions, Pichia guilliermondii cells increase production of riboflavin and malondialdehyde and the formation of protein carbonyl groups, which reflect increased intracellular content of reactive oxygen species. In this study, we found that P. guilliermondii iron deprived cells showed dramatically decreased catalase and superoxide dismutase activities. Previously reported mutations rib80, rib81, and hit1, which affect repression of riboflavin synthesis and iron accumulation by iron ions, caused similar drops in activities of the mentioned enzymes. These findings could explain the previously described development of oxidative stress in iron deprived or mutated P. guilliermondii cells that overproduce riboflavin. Similar decrease in superoxide dismutase activities was observed in iron deprived cells in the non-flavinogenic yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
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