A mutation in the COX5 gene of the yeast Scheffersomyces stipitis alters utilization of amino acids as carbon source, ethanol formation and activity of cyanide insensitive respiration

Stefan Freese (Corresponding Author), Volkmar Passoth, Ulrich Klinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Scheffersomyces stipitis PJH was mutagenized by random integrative mutagenesis and the integrants were screened for lacking the ability to grow with glutamate as sole carbon source. One of the two isolated mutants was damaged in the COX5 gene, which encodes a subunit of the cytochrome c oxidase. BLAST searches in the genome of Sc. stipitis revealed that only one singular COX5 gene exists in Sc. stipitis, in contrast to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where two homologous genes are present. Mutant cells had lost the ability to grow with the amino acids glutamate, proline or aspartate and other non‐fermentable carbon sources, such as acetic acid and ethanol, as sole carbon sources. Biomass formation of the mutant cells in medium containing glucose or xylose as carbon source was lower compared with the wild‐type cells. However, yields and specific ethanol formation of the mutant were much higher, especially under conditions of higher aeration. The mutant cells lacked both cytochrome c oxidase activity and cyanide‐sensitive respiration, whereas ADH and PDC activities were distinctly enhanced. SHAM‐sensitive respiration was obviously essential for the fermentative metabolism, because SHAM completely abolished growth of the mutant cells with both glucose or xylose as carbon source.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-320
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • xylose fermentation
  • alternative oxidase
  • respiratory chain
  • non-fermentable carbon sources
  • COX5


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