Toxicological response of the model fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae to different concentrations of commercial graphene nanoplatelets

Maria Suarez-Diez, Santiago Porras, Felix Laguna-Teno, Peter J. Schaap, Juan A. Tamayo-Ramos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Graphene nanomaterials have attracted a great interest during the last years for different applications, but their possible impact on different biological systems remains unclear. Here, an assessment to understand the toxicity of commercial polycarboxylate functionalized graphene nanoplatelets (GN) on the unicellular fungal model Saccharomyces cerevisiae was performed. While cell proliferation was not negatively affected even in the presence of 800 mg L−1 of the nanomaterial for 24 hours, oxidative stress was induced at a lower concentration (160 mg L−1), after short exposure periods (2 and 4 hours). No DNA damage was observed under a comet assay analysis under the studied conditions. In addition, to pinpoint the molecular mechanisms behind the early oxidative damage induced by GN and to identify possible toxicity pathways, the transcriptome of S. cerevisiae exposed to 160 and 800 mg L−1 of GN was studied. Both GN concentrations induced expression changes in a common group of genes (337), many of them related to the fungal response to reduce the nanoparticles toxicity and to maintain cell homeostasis. Also, a high number of genes were only differentially expressed in the GN800 condition (3254), indicating that high GN concentrations can induce severe changes in the physiological state of the yeast.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3232
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2020


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