Evolutionary engineering and molecular characterization of a caffeine-resistant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain

Surmeli Y., Holyavkin C., Topaloğlu A., Arslan M., Kisakesen H. I., Çakar Z. P.

WORLD JOURNAL OF MICROBIOLOGY & BIOTECHNOLOGY, vol.35, no.12, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11274-019-2762-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Adaptive laboratory evolution, Caffeine, Evolutionary engineering, Pleiotropic drug resistance (PDR), Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Stress resistance, MULTIDRUG TRANSPORTER PDR5, CELL-WALL COMPOSITION, ETHANOL-TOLERANCE, RIM101 PATHWAY, GROWTH, TRANSCRIPTION, PROTEIN, GENE, TOR, METABOLISM
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Caffeine is a naturally occurring alkaloid, where its major consumption occurs with beverages such as coffee, soft drinks and tea. Despite a variety of reports on the effects of caffeine on diverse organisms including yeast, the complex molecular basis of caffeine resistance and response has yet to be understood. In this study, a caffeine-hyperresistant and genetically stable Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant was obtained for the first time by evolutionary engineering, using batch selection in the presence of gradually increased caffeine stress levels and without any mutagenesis of the initial population prior to selection. The selected mutant could resist up to 50 mM caffeine, a level, to our knowledge, that has not been reported for S. cerevisiae so far. The mutant was also resistant to the cell wall-damaging agent lyticase, and it showed cross-resistance against various compounds such as rapamycin, antimycin, coniferyl aldehyde and cycloheximide. Comparative transcriptomic analysis results revealed that the genes involved in the energy conservation and production pathways, and pleiotropic drug resistance were overexpressed. Whole genome re-sequencing identified single nucleotide polymorphisms in only three genes of the caffeine-hyperresistant mutant; PDR1, PDR5 and RIM8, which may play a potential role in caffeine-hyperresistance. Graphic abstract