In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, some studies have shown that trehalose and its hydrolysis may play an important physiological role during the life cycle of the cell. Recently, other studies demonstrated a close correlation between trehalose levels and tolerance to heat stress, suggesting that trehalose may be a protectant which contributes to thermotolerance. We had reported lack of correlation between trehalose accumulation and increase in thermotolerance under certain conditions, suggesting that trehalose may not mediate thermotolerance [Nwaka, S., et al. (1994) FEBS Lett. 344, 225-228]. Using mutants of the trehalase genes, NTH1 and YBR0106, we have demonstrated the necessity of these genes in recovery of yeast cells after heat shock, suggesting a role of these genes in thermotolerance (Nwaka, S., Kopp, M., and Holzer, H., submitted for publication). In the present paper, we have analysed the expression of the trehalase genes under heat stress conditions and present genetic evidence for the 'poor-heat-shock-recovery' phenotype associated with NTH1 and YBR0106 mutants. Furthermore, we show a growth defect of neutral and acid trehalase-deficient mutants during transition from glucose to glycerol, which is probably related to the 'poor-heat-shock-recovery' phenomenon.
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