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Applied and environmental microbiology

Impact of photocatalysis on fungal cells: depiction of cellular and molecular effects on Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


PMID 25261515

Abstract

We have investigated the antimicrobial effects of photocatalysis on the yeast model Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To accurately study the antimicrobial mechanisms of the photocatalytic process, we focused our investigations on two questions: the entry of the nanoparticles in treated cells and the fate of the intracellular environment. Transmission electronic microscopy did not reveal any entry of nanoparticles within the cells, even for long exposure times, despite degradation of the cell wall space and deconstruction of cellular compartments. In contrast to proteins located at the periphery of the cells, intracellular proteins did not disappear uniformly. Disappearance or persistence of proteins from the pool of oxidized intracellular isoforms was not correlated to their functions. Altogether, our data suggested that photocatalysis induces the establishment of an intracellular oxidative environment. This hypothesis was sustained by the detection of an increased level of superoxide ions (O2°(-)) in treated cells and by greater cell cultivability for cells expressing oxidant stress response genes during photocatalytic exposure. The increase in intracellular ROS, which was not connected to the entry of nanoparticles within the cells or to a direct contact with the plasma membrane, could be the result of an imbalance in redox status amplified by chain reactions. Moreover, we expanded our study to other yeast and filamentous fungi and pointed out that, in contrast to the laboratory model S. cerevisiae, some environmental strains are very resistant to photocatalysis. This could be related to the cell wall composition and structure.

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