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Valproate inhibits MAP kinase signalling and cell cycle progression in S. cerevisiae.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Article number36013
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>26/10/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Scientific Reports
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)1-14
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The mechanism of action of valproate (VPA), a widely prescribed short chain fatty acid with anticonvulsant and anticancer properties, remains poorly understood. Here, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was used as model to investigate the biological consequences of VPA exposure. We found that low pH strongly potentiates VPA-induced growth inhibition. Transcriptional profiling revealed that under these conditions, VPA modulates the expression of genes involved in diverse cellular processes including protein folding, cell wall organisation, sexual reproduction, and cell cycle progression. We further investigated the impact of VPA on selected processes and found that this drug: i) activates markers of the unfolded protein stress response such as Hac1 mRNA splicing; ii) modulates the cell wall integrity pathway by inhibiting the activation of the Slt2 MAP kinase, and synergizes with cell wall stressors such as micafungin and calcofluor white in preventing yeast growth; iii) prevents activation of the Kss1 and Fus3 MAP kinases of the mating pheromone pathway, which in turn abolishes cellular responses to alpha factor; and iv) blocks cell cycle progression and DNA replication. Overall, our data identify heretofore unknown biological responses to VPA in budding yeast, and highlight the broad spectrum of cellular pathways influenced by this chemical in eukaryotes.