In this work, we identified novel physiological functions of glutathione in acetaldehyde tolerance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Strains deleted in the genes encoding the enzymes involved in glutathione synthesis and reduction, GSH1, GSH2 and GLR1, exhibited severe growth defects compared to wild-type under acetaldehyde stress, although strains deleted in the genes encoding glutathione peroxidases or glutathione transferases did not show any growth defects. On the other hand, intracellular levels of reduced glutathione decreased in the presence of acetaldehyde in response to acetaldehyde concentration. Moreover, we show that glutathione can trap a maximum of four acetaldehyde molecules within its molecule in a non-enzymatic manner. Taken together, these findings suggest that glutathione has an important role in acetaldehyde tolerance, as a direct scavenger of acetaldehyde in the cell.
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