Carbon monoxide released by CORM-A1 prevents yeast cell death via autophagy stimulation

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Autophagy is an autodigestive process, promoting cytoprotection by the elimination of dysfunctional organelles, misfolded proteins and toxic aggregates. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an endogenous gasotransmitter that under low concentrations prevents cell death and inflammation. For the first time, the role of autophagy in CO-mediated cytoprotection against oxidative stress was evaluated in the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The boron-based CO-releasing molecule, CORM-A1, was used to deliver CO. CORM-A1 partially prevented oxidative stress-induced cell death in yeast. Likewise, CORM-A1 activated autophagy under basal physiological conditions, which were assessed by autophagic flux and the expression of mCherry-Atg8 or GFP-Atg8. Inhibition of autophagy by knocking out key autophagic genes in yeast (ATG8 or ATG11) blocked CORM-A1 cytoprotective effect, indicating the critical role of autophagy in CO-induced cytoprotection. The CO-mediated cytoprotection via autophagy induction observed in yeast was validated in primary cultures of astrocytes, a well-characterized model for CO's cytoprotective functions. As in yeast, CORM-A1 prevented oxidative stress-induced cell death in an autophagy-dependent manner in astrocytes. Overall, our data support the cytoprotective action of CO against oxidative stress. CO promotes cytoprotection in yeast via autophagy, opening new possibilities for the study of molecular mechanisms of CO's biological functions using this powerful eukaryotic model.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfoz051
JournalFEMS Yeast Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • astrocytes
  • autophagy
  • carbon monoxide
  • cell death
  • oxidative stress
  • yeast


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