The role of ergosterol in yeast stress tolerance, together with heat shock proteins (hsps) and trehalose, was examined in a sterol auxotrophic mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ergosterol levels paralleled viability data, with cells containing higher levels of the sterol exhibiting greater tolerances to heat and ethanol. Although the mutant synthesised hsps and accumulated trehalose upon heat shock to the same levels as the wild-type cells, these parameters did not relate to stress tolerance. These results indicate that the role of ergosterol in stress tolerance is independent of hsps or trehalose. Copyright (C) 1998 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.
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