TitleUnravelling glutathione conjugate catabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: the role of glutathione/dipeptide transporters and vacuolar function in the release of volatile sulfur compounds 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol and 4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsCordente, AG, Capone, DL, Curtin, CD
JournalAppl Microbiol Biotechnol
Date Published2015 Nov
KeywordsBiotransformation, Glutathione, Membrane Transport Proteins, Monosaccharide Transport Proteins, Pentanones, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins, Sulfhydryl Compounds, Vacuoles

Sulfur-containing aroma compounds are key contributors to the flavour of a diverse range of foods and beverages, such as wine. The tropical fruit characters of Sauvignon Blanc wines are attributed to the presence of the aromatic thiols 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3-MH), its acetate ester 3-mercaptohexyl acetate (3-MHA), and 4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one (4-MMP). These aromatic thiols are not detectable in grape juice to any significant extent but are released by yeast during alcoholic fermentation. While the processes involved in the release of 3-MH and 4-MMP from their cysteinylated precursors have been studied extensively, degradation pathways for glutathione S-conjugates (GSH-3-MH and GSH-4-MMP) have not. In this study, a candidate gene approach was taken, focusing on genes known to play a role in glutathione and glutathione-S-conjugate turnover in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our results confirm the role of Opt1p as the major transporter responsible for uptake of GSH-3-MH and GSH-4-MMP, and identify vacuolar Ecm38p as a key determinant of 3-MH release from GSH-3-MH. ECM38 was unimportant, on the other hand, for release of 4-MMP, and abolition of vacuolar biogenesis caused an increase in the amount of 4-MMP released. The alternative cytosolic glutathione degradation pathway was not involved in release of either thiol from their glutathionylated precursors. Finally, cycling of GSH-3-MH and/or its breakdown intermediates between the cytosol and the vacuole or extracellular space was implicated in modulation of 3-MH formation. Together, these results provide new targets for development of yeast strains that optimize release of these potent volatile sulfur compounds, and further our understanding of the processes involved in glutathione-S-conjugate turnover.

Alternate JournalAppl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PubMed ID26227410