Superfund Research Program
Yeast Genetics and Stress Response Genes
Project Leader: Paul Russell (The Scripps Research Institute)
Grant Number: P42ES010337
Funding Period: 2000-2017
Project Summary (2000-2005)
To understand how eukaryotic organisms respond to hazardous chemicals found at Superfund sites, project investigators are using genetic and biochemical studies to develop a sensitive yeast growth assay that signals the presence of environmental toxins. These studies will utilize the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Fission yeast has served as an outstanding model system in previous studies of cellular responses to genotoxic and cytotoxic agents. Recent studies of fission yeast have uncovered the stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK) Spc1 and transcription factors Pap1 and Atf1 that resemble stress response factors in higher eukaryotes. These proteins regulate the transcriptional induction of stress response genes. DNA microarray technologies, combined with the genome sequence of S. pombe, will provide the opportunity to develop a comprehensive picture of the transcriptional response to stress in fission yeast.