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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382

Braz. J. Microbiol. vol.45 no.2 São Paulo Apr./June 2014 



Biomarkers to evaluate the effects of temperature and methanol on recombinant Pichia pastoris



Andrea B. ZepedaI, II; Carolina A. FigueroaI, II; Dulcineia S.P. AbdallaIII; Andrea Q. MaranhãoIV; Patricio H. UlloaI; Adalberto Pessoa JrII; Jorge G. FaríasI

IDepartamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de Ingeniería, Ciencias y Administración, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile
IIDepartamento de Tecnologia Bioquímico-Farmacêutica, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
IIIDepartamento de Análises Clínicas e Toxicológicas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
IVDepartamento de Biología Celular, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade de Brasilia, Brasília, DF, Brazil





Pichia pastoris is methylotrophic yeast used as an efficient expression system for heterologous protein production. In order to evaluate the effects of temperature (10 and 30 °C) and methanol (1 and 3% (v/v)) on genetically-modified Pichia pastoris, different biomarkers were evaluated: Heat stress (HSF-1 and Hsp70), oxidative stress (OGG1 and TBARS) and antioxidant (GLR). Three yeast cultures were performed: 3X = 3% methanol-10 °C, 4X = 3% methanol-30 °C, and 5X = 1% methanol-10°C. The expression level of HIF-1α, HSF-1, HSP-70 and HSP-90 biomarkers were measured by Western blot and in situ detection was performed by immunocytochemistry. Ours results show that at 3% methanol -30 °C there is an increase of mitochondrial OGG1 (mtOGG1), Glutathione Reductase (GLR) and TBARS. In addition, there was a cytosolic expression of HSF-1 and HSP-70, which indicates a deprotection against nucleolar fragmentation (apoptosis). On the other hand, at 3% methanol -10 °C and 1% and at methanol -10 °C conditions there was nuclear expression of OGG1, lower levels of TBARS and lower expression of GLR, cytosolic expression of HSF-1 and nuclear expression HSP-70. In conclusion, our results suggest that 3% methanol-30 °C is a condition that induces a strong oxidative stress and risk factors of apoptosis in modified-genetically P. pastoris.

Key words: oxidative stress, recombinant yeast, heat stress protein, DNA damage.




The pharmaceutical industry uses different types of cell cultures to produce biological drugs in high quantities (Panagiotou et al., 2011), such as monoclonal antibodies which appear as a prominent therapeutic intervention but requires appropriate post-translational modifications to be effective and safe for the human (Sohn et al., 2010).

Currently, there are various expression systems for recombinant antibodies such as Escherichia coli, insect cells, yeast and mammalian cells (Hayden et al., 1997). Within the broad strain of yeasts used as expression systems, the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris has emerged as an important host for heterologous protein expression in both biomedical research and industrial biotechnology (Solà et al., 2004; Ahn et al., 2009) and recently in metabolic engineering applications (Sohn et al., 2010), because it is considered as a economic system of well-defined fermentation process, growth to high cell density has been shown to substantially improve the production of heterologous proteins (Whyteside et al., 2011) and ease the genetic manipulation (van der Klei et al., 2006). This system also has a process of post-translational modifications similar to humans which allows a simple purification system of heterologous proteins due to secrete low levels of endogenous proteins (Macauley-Patrick et al., 2005; Damasceno et al., 2012), beside the production of heterologous proteins is associated with strong inducible promoter by methanol, alcohol oxidase gene 1 (AOX1) (Arakawa et al., 2006; Xuan et al., 2009; Ahn et al., 2009).

The expression level of proteins in P. pastoris depends critically on growth conditions (Solà et al., 2007), such as temperature, carbon source (Ni et al., 2008) and oxygen (Verbelen et al., 2009), which have been proven to be cell type-specific and varied depending on the product that is generated, so it has not yet been achieved a specific method, like biomarkers, to determine the effects of these conditions to find the optimal parameters for each model. Among the adverse consequences caused by disregard the effects of these parameters on the cultivation of yeast, temperature conditions would affect the expression of the transcription factor known as factor of response to heat stress (HSF-1) (Gasser et al., 2007), so it would regulate HSP-70 expression. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a family of molecular chaperones, which are indispensable in physiological states and exhibit a protective role in pathological processes; there are conditions of environmental stress such as heat shock and some pathological states that induce the expression of HSPs (Khalil et al., 2011).

Another effect of environmental conditions is the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can be generated endogenously in the presence of aerobic metabolism from mitochondria or generated during the metabolism of methanol when this is oxidized to formaldehyde (HCHO), producing high levels of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which has the ability to easily become a more damaging species (Bener et al., 2008), resulting in membrane lipid peroxidation (Priault et al., 2002), carbonylation and oxidation of residues of proteins and causing oxidation of nitrogen bases and strand breaks in DNA (Cash et al., 2007). One of the most common oxidative damage that affects the nitrogen bases is known as 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxoguanine) and it is the result of guanine oxidation (Sandigursky et al., 1997). However, there is an enzyme responsible for 8-oxoguanine repair known as OGG1 (8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase) and this has OG-glycosylase/AP ligase activity (Leipold et al., 2003; Solà et al., 2004). There is an antioxidant enzyme that protects the cells from oxidative stress, Glutathione Reductase (GLR) converts the oxidized form (GSSG) to reduced form of Glutathione (GSH) (Yano et al., 2009b). GSH scavenges cytotoxic H2O2 and maintains a redox balance in the cellular compartments (Blokhina et al., 2003). Despite this information, temperature and methanol effects on the heat and oxidative stress biomarkers in P. pastoris cultures during monoclonal antibodies production has not yet been determined. For this reason, the aim of this study is to determine the optimal conditions using biomarkers related with heat stress and oxidative stress on genetically-modified P. pastoris.


Materials and Methods


The solvents used were of analytical grade. The culture medium and glycerol were autoclaved at 121 °C for 20 min at 1 atm and glucose at 0.5 atm. Solutions and buffers were prepared with deionized water, besides methanol, biotin, ampicillin, casamino acids, YNB medium ("Yeast Nitrogen Base") and other reagents were sterilized by filtration on membrane of 0.22 microns.


We used lineage SMD1168 (Invitrogen ®): Δpep4::URA3 Δkex1::SUC2his4ura3 with His-Mut+ phenotype which was used for the expression of scFv. The genetically modified strain was provided by the research group of Professor Dr. Dulcineia Saes Parra Abdalla of the Department of Clinical and Toxicological Analysis of the Ciências Farmacêuticas-USP and was built by the group of Prof. Dr. Andrea Maranhão of the Department of Molecular Biology of Universidade de Brasília.

Maintenance and reactivation of P. pastoris

For the preservation of cells of P. pastoris, the colonies were replicated every three months on YPD solid medium (Yeast Extract Peptone Dextrose) (yeast extract 1% (w/v), casein peptone 2% (w/v), glucose 2% (w/v), bacteriological agar 1.2% (w/v) and incubated at 30 °C for 24 h. After that period, the colonies were removed from plates and inoculated into Erlenmeyer flasks of 500 mL capacity, containing 100 mL of YPD liquid medium at 30 °C and 250 rpm for 24 h. Then, the colonies were stored at 4 °C and -70 °C in YPD medium containing 20% sterile glycerol. For the reactivation step, 1 mL of frozen material was inoculated in Erlenmeyer flasks of 500 mL capacity containing 100 mL growth medium BMGY (Buffered Glycerol Complex Medium) (YNB medium 0,34% (w/v) + ammonium sulfate 1% (w/v), yeast extract 1% (w/v), casein peptone 2% (w/v), buffer potassium phosphate (100 mM) pH 6.0, biotin 4x10-5% (w/v), glycerol 1% (v/v), casamino acids 2% (w/v) and incubated at 30 °C and 250 rpm for 16 h.

Preparation of P. pastoris inoculum in shaker (growth phase)

For inoculum stage in a stirrer, it was prepared BMGY medium through five solutions (1: 2 g Yeast Extract, 4 g peptone, dilute to 50 mL with deionized water, 2: 20 mL buffer phosphate, 2 g glycerol, 3: 2.68 g Yeast Nitrogen Base and dilute to 50 mL with deionized water, 2 g of ammonium sulfate and dilute to 40 mL with deionized water, 4: 4 g casamino acids and dilute to 40 mL with deionized water, 5: 400 mL of biotin) to 200 mL in a 500 mL Erlenmeyer flask and withdrew 10% of the initial volume (20 mL) which was used to cultivate 200 mL of P. pastoris strain genetically modified and incubated at 30 °C at 250 rpm for 16 h. Subsequently, the inoculum is transferred to 180 mL of BMGY medium and incubated at 30 °C at 250 rpm for 24 h.

Induction phase in a shaker

After the growth phase (40 h) it was added 1% and 3% methanol. To inhibit the production of protease was also added 1 mM PMSF (phenylmethanesulfonylfluoride). Before the addition of methanol, the temperature was adjusted to 10 °C and 30 °C. This induction phase was carried out after 24, 48 h and 72 h. The total culture time was 96 h.

Experimental Design After 96 h each culture was centrifuged at 1957 x g for 30 min where aliquots of 2 mL were obtained for its use in subsequent trials. The samples for analysis corresponded to: 3X: 3% methanol -10 °C; 4X: 3% methanol -30 °C and 5X: 1% methanol -10 °C.

Quantification of proteins

The cell lysate was performed by ultrasonication for 30 min in ultrasonicator bath Elmasonic E 60 H (Elma, Singen, Germany). Quantification of proteins was performed through the Coomassie blue method (Bradford, 1976). The calibration curve was performed with BSA (stock 2 mg/mL) to a standard concentration of 100 цg/mL and the dilution was made with distilled water, the absorbance measurement at 595 nm was performed in Spectrophotometer Optizen 3220 UV (Mecasys Co., Daejeon, Rep. of Korea) and its concentration was calculated according to the initial ratio volume and initial concentration vs. the volume and final concentration. According to the method of cell lysate, it was used 5 to 20 цL of these cells within UV Macro 3.5 mL (Arquimed) then it was added distilled water to 100 цL plus 1 mL of 1X Bradford, mixed and allowed to incubate for 5 min at room temperature and then was measured. The results were expressed as mg protein / mL of cells.

Determination of lipid peroxidation

Lipid peroxidation was quantified by measuring thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) produced from the reaction of TBA with malondialdehyde (MDA) (Farías et al., 2012). Cell disruption was performed by using lysis buffer. Subsequently the samples were washed twice with distilled water and suspended at a concentration of 5 x108 cells/mL. To each sample it was added cold trichloroacetic acid (TCA) 10% (v/v), then incubated for 15 min on ice and centrifuged for 15 min at 2367 x g at 4 °C (Eppendorf 5804R, Germany). Subsequently the supernatant was incubated with twice the volume of TBA 0.67% (v/v) for 20 min at 95 °C in thermostated bath (YCW-0125, Gemmy Industrial Corporation, Taiwan), then the mixture was cooled on ice, centrifuged 4 s to 1380 x g and the absorbance was measured at 532 nm in the Spectrophotometer 3220-UV Optizen (Mecasys Co., Daejeon, Republic of Korea). We performed a calibration curve using 1,1,3,3-tetramethoxypropane 500 μM as standard. The results were expressed as micromoles of TBARS by 5x 108 cells (Kwolek-Mirek et al., 2009). The concentrations were determined in triplicate for each sample.

SDS / PAGE and Western blot analysis

To evaluate and correlate the expression levels of 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1), Glutathione Reductase (GLR), factor of response to heat stress (HSF-1) and heat shock protein 70 (HSP-70), the levels of all proteins were measured to different growing conditions in a shaker. The protein samples were separated by 10% SDS/PAGE (HSF-1), 12% SDS-PAGE (HSP-70 and OGG1) and 5% SDS-PAGE (GLR), then these were transferred to membrane Hybond-C (Amersham Pharmacia, Piscataway, NJ, USA) using a transfer cell Transfer-blot SD Semi-dry (Bio-Rad, Tokyo, Japan). The membranes were then blocked by incubation with skim milk 5% (w/v) in PBS, pH 7.2 for 1 h at room temperature (RT) under mild agitation. Subsequently, the membranes were incubated with rabbit anti-(rat-OGG1) IgG (1:50 dilution) (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, CA, USA), rabbit anti-(-rat-GLR) IgG (1:50 dilution), rabbit anti-(rat-HSF-1) IgG (1:50 dilution) (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, CA, USA) and mouse anti-(rat-HSP-70) IgG (1:50 dilution) (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, CA, USA) for 16 h at 4 °C. After the membranes were washed 5 times for 10 min with PBS, pH 7.2, containing Tween-20 0.1% (v/v), a fourth wash was carried out only with PBS pH 7.2 to remove all traces of detergent, then were incubated with peroxidase-conjugated goat anti-(rabbit IgG) IgG (dilution 1:500) (Jackson Laboratories ImmuneResearch, PA, USA) and peroxidase-conjugated goat anti-(mouse IgG) Ig (dilution 1:500) (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, CA, USA) for 2 h. After being washed 5 times for 10 min with PBS, pH 7.2, containing Tween-20 0.1% (v/v) and once for 5 min with PBS pH 7.2 only, the peroxidase activity was detected by a chemiluminescent method using an ECL Plus kit (Amersham Pharmacia, Buckinghamshire, UK). The β-actin antibody (Sigma) was used as loading control in Western blot in dilution 1:50.


Cells were fixed in formalin 3.7% (v/v) and permeabilized with cold methanol (-20 °C). Endogenous peroxidase was blocked with H2O2 0.3% (v/v) in dark for 30 min at RT. The cells were blocked with bovine serum albumin (BSA, Sigma-Aldrich) 5% at RT for 15 min and washed for 5 min with PBS. Then they were incubated with rabbit anti-(rat-HSF-1) IgG (1:100 dilution) (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, CA, USA) and mouse anti-(rat-HSP-70) IgG (1:100 dilution) (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, CA, USA) for 1 h at 37 °C in a humid chamber. Later were incubated with peroxidase-conjugated goat anti-(rabbit IgG) IgG (dilution 1:1000) (Jackson Laboratories ImmuneResearch, PA, USA) and peroxidase-conjugated goat anti-(mouse IgG) IgG (dilution 1:1000) (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Santa Cruz, CA, USA) for 30 min at RT. The peroxidase activity was visualized using 1,3-diaminobenzidine (DAB) and were counterstained with hematoxylin. The slides were immersed in a series of alcohols, in increasing order (70°, 95° and 100°) for 5 min each one, then allowed to soak for 10 min in xylol and finally made the final assemble end where the slides were observed under the BX43 Optical microscope (Olympus, Tokyo, Japan).

Data analysis

The results show that normal distribution was analyzed using One Way test - ANOVA followed by Tukey analysis. ANOVA analysis was performed to determine significant interaction between the expression of proteins-OGG-1, GLR, HSF-1 and HSP-70 - and different culture conditions, because this could indicate a difference in the expression of these molecules. We also analyzed using ANOVA, the level of lipid peroxidation in different cultures. The statistical significance level used was p < 0.05 for all tests. Results are presented as mean ± standard deviation.



Oxidative stress

In order to evaluate the effects of temperature and methanol, TBARS was analyzed. For the recombinant yeast, in the three conditions, TBARS shows in the 4X (3% (v/v) Methanol -30 °C) condition an increase of oxidative stress in comparison to 3X (3% (v/v) Methanol -10 °C) and 5X (1% (v/v) Methanol -10 °C) conditions (p < 0.05; Figure 1).



Expression level of nuclear repair proteins, antioxidant and heat stress protein

To determine oxidative DNA damage, OGG1-1a and OGG1-2a were evaluated. OGG1 is an enzyme responsible for repairing the DNA damaged by oxidative stress. Our results showed that in 3X and 5X cultures OGG1-1a was expressed (nuclear); while in 4X culture both subunits OGG1-1a (nuclear) and OGG1-2a (mitochondrial) (Figure 2) were expressed.



To determine antioxidant defense, GLR was evaluated. GLR is an enzyme that maintains the reduced levels of Glutathione, acting as antioxidant protection. Our results showed that in 4X culture was observed higher expression of GLR in comparison with 3X and 5X cultures (p < 0.05; Figure 3).



The expression of HSF-1 did not shown significantly difference between all culture conditions (p > 0.05; Figure 4). HSF-1 protein expression was mainly found in the cytoplasm of yeast under all three culture condition. Also, in the 5X culture HSF-1 was found in the nucleus, indicating that it might be acting in the transcription of various proteins in response to heat stress. These proteins would act as chaperones in the regulation of protein stability to achieve the conformation necessary to fulfill their role (Figure 5). On the other hand, HSP-70 was mainly expressed in the nucleus in 3X and 5X culture conditions; while that in 4X culture was found in the cytoplasm (Figure 5).




Methylotrophic yeast P. pastoris has several characteristics that allow it to be a more optimal host for heterologous protein production and/or monoclonal antibodies. Perhaps the most important for the industry is that allows a faster and more efficient purification process because of the low concentration of endogenous proteins that it normally produces. In the search for biomarkers, this property is of great concern because these characteristics are objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes or pharmacologic responses to therapeutic intervention (van Lammeren et al., 2011). Nowadays, production of high amounts of proteins of therapeutic interest has generated the need to scale P. pastoris cultures to increase the cell density and the product of interest (Arakawa et al., 2006). However, P. pastoris has presented problems when scaled, in terms of cell instability in the density of the culture. This has directly affected the production of heterologous proteins that requires maintaining a constant specific growth rate. Our results shown a higher concentration when the yeast was grown at 10 °C, differing from those observed at 15 °C in such yeasts as P. pastoris and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where the biomass was reduced (Steels et al., 1994; Pizarro et al., 2008) and where methanol could have negative effects on cell growth compared to other inductors such as glycerol and glucose (Dragosits et al., 2011).

Regarding to the extent of lipid peroxidation in recombinant yeasts, our results showed higher levels of TBARS under conditions of methanol 3% (v/v) and at 30 °C. These could be related to those reported by several authors, where P. pastoris cultures at 20 °C induce the transcription of genes that encode enzymes which regulates oxide/reduction homeostasis, such as glutathione reductase (GLR1) and thioredoxin reductase (TRR1) related to the antioxidant protection (Dragosits et al., 2009). However, the exposure of the yeast to methanol also generates metabolic products which act as reactive oxygen species, such as hydrogen peroxide. It can become a harmful molecule capable for generating membrane lipid peroxidation (Jin et al., 2011).

Among the considerations to be taken into account when analyzing both the effects of the inductor and temperature, is the composition of lipid membranes that are essential for the cell stability and are seriously affected by oxidative damage. In accordance to that, the culture at 30 °C and 3% (v/v) of methanol presented the higher increase of lipid peroxidation (Figure 1) produced by a high production of ROS derived from the metabolism of methanol and high temperature. Besides it must be considered that aerobic metabolism generates increased production of ROS in the mitochondria. This would happen because the electron transport in mitochondria consumes most cellular oxygen and generates superoxide anion, which is converted to H2O2 from mitochondria by superoxide dismutase (SOD2) (Davidson and Schiestl, 2001). However, ROS production can act as an intracellular signal that promotes the nuclear translocation of transcription factor PpYap1, which induces the expression of genes involved in antioxidant defense (Yano et al., 2009). The culture of P. pastoris in methanol medium induces nuclear localization of Yap1 and activates the expression of GLR (Yano et al., 2009a). It would indicate that the culture at 3% (v/v) of methanol would not efficiently induces cell antioxidant system, probably in this condition with higher level of methanol could induce an increased production of ROS in comparison to 1% (v/v) methanol medium. Nevertheless, in the culture exposed to 30 °C and 3% (v/v) methanol was observed higher level of GLR expression, probably it could not protect completely to the cells when they were exposed to high levels of methanol and temperature. Furthermore, it has been reported that products of lipid peroxidation induce cytotoxicity, in contrast to that; sublethal concentrations of methanol induce cellular responses related in enhancing the adaptation and tolerance against oxidative stress by up-regulation of antioxidant enzymes (Niki, 2009).

It has been observed in S. cerevisiae that the oxidative stress tolerance and the stress induced by temperature depend on the lipid composition of the membrane, there being a positive correlation between the cellular damage and increased unsaturation of fatty acids (Leipold et al., 2003). In fact, P. pastoris is characterized by high levels of Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA), therefore in a stress condition (30 °C and 3% (v/v) methanol) it would be more susceptible to oxidative stress, raising the levels of lipid peroxidation and DNA damage that can be observed indirectly in the detection of relative expression of enzymes that are part of this repair machinery, as OGG1. The results determine that in the recombinant yeast, in all growth conditions, actives the nuclear DNA repair machinery (OGG1-1a), which may be indicative of a normal situation that occurs in the DNA of all organisms or that none of the conditions studied is suitable for yeast, so this will be constantly generating oxidative damage on the genetic material and the repair machinery is protecting the DNA from oxidative damage. However, the condition of 30 °C and 3% (v/v) methanol concentration, produce fairly high levels of oxidative stress that affects both the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, because in these conditions is when we observed the presence of OGG1-2a (Figure 2A). This occurs probably because there is an increased oxidative damage caused by temperature and higher level of methanol, as demonstrated indirectly by TBARS (Figure 1). This situation could also be explained by a mechanism related to the control of the location of OGG1, in which the oxidative damage in the nuclear DNA indicates the recruitment of OGG1 in the nucleus; while oxidative damage in mitochondrial DNA induces the recruitment of OGG1 in the mitochondria (Alseth et al., 1999). It is also important to mention that the culture that produced the highest concentration of heterologous proteins showed a higher amount of oxidative damage, which may be affecting the genomic and mitochondrial DNA of recombinant P. pastoris. On the other hand, the oxidative damage could affect the expression of endogenous proteins involved in the antioxidant protection systems of this yeast, showing an inefficient protection against oxidative stress induced in these conditions. Consequently it would negatively affect the count of the yeast and may affect the production of recombinant proteins.

In almost all living systems, upshifts in temperature cause a heat stress response that leads to a strong induction of a conserved group of proteins called heat shock proteins (HSPs) (Guerra et al., 2005). These have shown a decrease in protein folding at low temperatures and thus, a possible correlation with the beneficial effect on protein secretion (Dragosits et al., 2010). In accordance to that, the culture at 30 °C - 3% (v/v) of methanol, in comparison with the cultures at 10 °C - 3% (v/v) of methanol and 10 °C - 1% (v/v) of methanol, is the one with a lower concentration of total protein. This would indicate that the heat stress generated by 30 °C would act beneficially on the production of proteins to activate the chaperone, which may be protecting peptides to acquire the proper conformation of a mature protein. In relation to heat stress, HSF-1 does not show to have high transcriptional activity in the cultures because that should be found into the nucleus; only the culture at 10 °C - 1% (v/v) of methanol would be slightly presenting this activity because their presence was found near the nucleus. This localization could be related to the decrease in the concentration of methanol or interaction with other protein that would act mainly on the protection of endogenous protein production over the heterogeneous proteins, or just these are more sensitive to changes in the medium. The culture at 30 °C - 3% (v/v) of methanol should have displayed a greater presence and nuclear localization considering that it was the highest temperature, and its presence or more specifically its role as a transcription factor is related to this type of stress. Despite this, it didn't showed significant difference in comparison at 10 °C, which could indicate that at 30 °C the yeast P. pastoris isn't found in a stress condition but within the range of normal growth of it. Regarding to proteins response to heat stress, HSF-1 in all the cultures would induce the transcription of HSP-70 but the difference is due to the functionality of the last one. Wang et al. (2012) founded that cells can increase their apoptosis when the nucleolar fragmentation increases in presence of high oxidative stress and HSP-70 will prevent nucleolar fragmentation induced for this stress. In accordance to that, our results showed HSP-70 in the nucleus of the cultures at 10 °C. This means that these cells would activate their anti-apoptotic system due to the protection of the nucleolus and avoiding its fragmentation and subsequent apoptosis. At 30 °C, HSP-70 was founded in the cytoplasm, indicating that the anti-apoptotic system was not efficiently activated since this culture showed high levels of oxidative stress and more oxidative damage in comparison at 10 °C. In this manner, HSP-70 and maybe others HSPs could be acting only to low oxidative stress induced by 10 °C and favored by 1% (v/v) of methanol but in presence to high oxidative stress these proteins would not be functional or would be used in other pathways, like to control the respiratory metabolism.



The measure of OGG-1, GLR, HSF-1 and HSP-70 can be useful to identify the optimal conditions for a culture of genetically -modified P. pastoris, where we determined that at 30 °C - 3% (v/v) of methanol it would increase the apoptosis induced for a strong oxidative stress. Because there is little information about the effect of the recombination on P. pastoris, more research is needed to evaluate the influence of this process in front of different culture conditions on the physiology, metabolism and cell communication mechanisms of this expression system, which would give us knowledge about the functioning of the yeast and then design and devise strategies to improve the production of heterologous proteins from P. pastoris recombinant.



The authors are sincerely thankful for support provided by CONICYT doctoral fellowship to A.Z. and C.F., FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Brasil, Processo Número: 2012/50210-9), International Cooperation Program of Universidad de La Frontera DI12-4001 and by DIUFRO grant DI12-2007


Competing Financial Interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.



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J.G. Farías
Departamento de Ingeniería Química
Facultad de Ingeniería
Ciencias y Administración
Universidad de La Frontera, Casilla 54-D
Temuco, Chile

Submitted: May 27, 2013
Approved: September 9, 2013



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