Volume 64 (2018) Issue 2 Pages 84-89
γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an important non-protein amino acid involved in the response to various environmental stresses in plant cells. The objectives of this study was to test the hypothesis that intracellular accumulation of GABA improves osmotic tolerance in the unconventional yeast Candida glycerinogenes. In C. glycerinogenes, the expression of UGA4 encoding GABA-specific permease is highly induced by hyperosmotic stress. Exogenous GABA application enhanced intracellular GABA accumulation and promoted cell growth under hyperosmotic conditions. Overexpression of the glutamate decarboxylase gene GAD1 resulted in an increased intracellular GABA and improvement in cell growth under hyperosmotic conditions. These results indicated that improving intracellular GABA accumulation of C. glycerinogenes, either through exogenous application or cellular synthesis, is available for improving the tolerance to hyperosmotic stress. We demonstrate that GABA accumulation plays an important role in osmotic stress resistance of the unconventional yeast C. glycerinogenes.