Interaction of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with gold: Toxicity and accumulation

Victor I. Karamushka, Geoffrey M. Gadd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper examines the effects of ionic gold on Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as determined by long-term (growth in gold-containing media) and short-term interactions (H+ efflux activity). An increasing gold concentration inhibited growth and at < 0.2 mM Au, growth was not observed. Transmission electron microscopy revealed no differences in ultrastructure but fine electron dense particles were observed in unstained preparations from gold-containing medium. After glucose addition (to 10 mM) to starved suspensions of S. cerevisiae, glucose-dependent reduction of external pH occurred as the cells extruded protons. In the presence of increasing gold concentrations, the lag time before proton extrusion did not change but the rate and duration decreased significantly with a marked influence on proton efflux rate being observed at ≤ 10 μM. Extension of preincubation time of yeast cells in gold-containing medium resulted in a decreasing proton efflux rate and colloidal phase formation in the cell suspensions, the time between gold addition and the beginning of colloidal phase formation depending on the gold concentration used. Both Ca and Mg enhanced the inhibitory effect of gold on the yeast cells with Ca showing a stronger inhibitory effect than Mg.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)289-294
    Number of pages6
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999


    • Accumulation
    • Gold
    • Proton efflux
    • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
    • Toxicity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biomaterials
    • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
    • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
    • Metals and Alloys


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