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Genome-Wide Functional Profiling Reveals Genes Required for Tolerance to Benzene Metabolites in Yeast

By Matthew North, Vickram J. Tandon, Reuben Thomas, Alex Loguinov, Inna Gerlovina, Alan E. Hubbard, Luoping Zhang, Martyn T. Smith and Chris D. Vulpe


Benzene is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant and is widely used in industry. Exposure to benzene causes a number of serious health problems, including blood disorders and leukemia. Benzene undergoes complex metabolism in humans, making mechanistic determination of benzene toxicity difficult. We used a functional genomics approach to identify the genes that modulate the cellular toxicity of three of the phenolic metabolites of benzene, hydroquinone (HQ), catechol (CAT) and 1,2,4-benzenetriol (BT), in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Benzene metabolites generate oxidative and cytoskeletal stress, and tolerance requires correct regulation of iron homeostasis and the vacuolar ATPase. We have identified a conserved bZIP transcription factor, Yap3p, as important for a HQ-specific response pathway, as well as two genes that encode putative NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductases, PST2 and YCP4. Many of the yeast genes identified have human orthologs that may modulate human benzene toxicity in a similar manner and could play a role in benzene exposure-related disease

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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