How cells of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe respond to alkaline stress is not well understood. Here, to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the alkaline stress response in S. pombe, we performed DNA microarray analysis. We found that a homolog of human catechol O-methyltransferase 2 (COMT2) is highly upregulated in S. pombe cells exposed to alkaline conditions. We designated the S. pombe homolog as cmt2+ and also identified its paralog, cmt1+, in the S. pombe genome. Reverse transcription PCR confirmed that both cmt1+ and cmt2+ are upregulated within 1 h of exposure to alkaline stress and downregulated within 30 min of returning to an acidic environment. Moreover, we verified that recombinant Cmt proteins exhibit catechol O-methyltransferase activity. To further characterize the expression of cmt1+ and cmt2+, we carried out an EGFP reporter assay using their promoter sequences, which showed that both genes respond not only to alkaline but also to salt stress. Collectively, our findings indicate that the cmt promoter might be an advantageous expression system for use in S. pombe under alkaline culture conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology