Low toxicological impact of commercial pristine multi-walled carbon nanotubes on the yeast saccharomyces cerevisiae

Sonia Martel Martín, Rocío Barros, Brixhilda Domi, Carlos Rumbo, Mateo Poddighe, Santiago Aparicio, Maria Suarez-Diez, Juan Antonio Tamayo-Ramos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have attracted the attention of academy and industry due to their potential applications, being currently produced and commercialized at a mass scale, but their possible impact on different biological systems remains unclear. In the present work, an assessment to understand the toxicity of commercial pristine multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on the unicellular fungal model Saccharomyces cerevisiae is presented. Firstly, the nanomaterial was physico-chemically characterized, to obtain insights concerning its morphological features and elemental composition. Afterwards, a toxicology assessment was carried out, where it could be observed that cell proliferation was negatively affected only in the presence of 800 mg L−1 for 24 h, while oxidative stress was induced at a lower concentration (160 mg L−1 ) after a short exposure period (2 h). Finally, to identify possible toxicity pathways induced by the selected MWCNTs, the transcriptome of S. cerevisiae exposed to 160 and 800 mg L−1, for two hours, was studied. In contrast to a previous study, reporting massive transcriptional changes when yeast cells were exposed to graphene nanoplatelets in the same exposure conditions, only a small number of genes (130) showed significant transcriptional changes in the presence of MWCNTs, in the higher concentration tested (800 mg L−1 ), and most of them were found to be downregulated, indicating a limited biological response of the yeast cells exposed to the selected pristine commercial CNTs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2272
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Differential expression
  • MWCNTs
  • Oxidative stress
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Toxicity
  • Transcriptomics


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