Proline biosynthesis is required for endoplasmic reticulum stress tolerance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Xinwen Liang, Martin B. Dickman, Donald F. Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The amino acid proline is uniquely involved in cellular processes that underlie stress response in a variety of organisms. Proline is known to minimize protein aggregation, but a detailed study of how proline impacts cell survival during accumulation of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has not been performed. To address this we examined in Saccharomyces cerevisiae the effect of knocking out the PRO1, PRO2, and PRO3 genes responsible for proline biosynthesis. The null mutants pro1,pro2, andpro3 were shown to have increased sensitivity to ER stress relative to wild-type cells, which could be restored by proline or the corresponding genetic complementation. Of these mutants, pro3 was the most sensitive to tunicamycin and was rescued by anaerobic growth conditions or reduced thiol reagents. The pro3 mutant cells have higher intracellular reactive oxygen species, total glutathione, and a NADP+/NADPH ratio than wild-type cells under limiting proline conditions. Depletion of proline biosynthesis also inhibits the unfolded protein response (UPR) indicating proline protection involves the UPR. To more broadly test the role of proline in ER stress, increased proline biosynthesis was shown to partially rescue the ER stress sensitivity of a hog1 null mutant in which the high osmolality pathway is disrupted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27794-27806
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 3 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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