Accumulation and intracellular compartmentation of lithium ions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Joy Perkins, Geoffrey M. Gadd (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    39 Citations (Scopus)


    Accumulation of Li+ in Saccharomyces cerevisiae X2180-1B occured via an apparent stoichiometric relationship of 1 : 1 (K+/Li+) when S. cerevisiae was incubated in the presence of 5 and 10 mM LiCl for 3 h. Other cellular cations (Mg2+, Ca2+ and Na+) did not vary on Li+ accumulation, although lithium chemistry dictates a degree of similarity to Group I and II metal cations. Compartmentation of Li+ was mainly in the vacuole which accounted for 85% of the Li+ accumulated after a 6-h incubation period. The remainder was located in the cytosol with negligible amounts being bound to cell fragments including the cell wall. Transmission electron microscopy of Li+-loaded cells revealed enlarged vacuoles compared with control cells. This asymmetric cellular distribution may therefore enhance tolerance of S. cerevisiae to Li+ and ensure that essential metabolic processes in the cytosol are not disrupted.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)255-260
    Number of pages6
    JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1993


    • Intracellular compartmentation
    • Lithium
    • Potassium
    • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
    • Vacuole

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Microbiology
    • Molecular Biology
    • Genetics


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