Yeast cell metabolism investigated by CO2 production and soft X-ray irradiation

Masini A., D. Batani, F. Previdi, M. Milani, A. Pozzi, E. Turcu, S. Huntington, H. Takeyasu

Results obtained using a new technique for studying cell metabolism are presented. The technique, consisting in CO2 production monitoring, has been applied to Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells.
Also the cells were irradiated using the soft X-ray laser-plasma source at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory with the aim of producing a damage of metabolic processes at the wall level, responsible for fermentation, without great interference with respiration, taking place in mitochondria, and DNA activity. The source was calibrated with PIN diodes and X-ray spectrometers and used Teflon stripes as target, emitting X-rays at about 0.9 keV, with a very low penetration in biological material. X-ray doses delivered to the different cell compartments were calculated following a Lambert-Bouguet-Beer law. Immediately after irradiation, the damage to metabolic activity was measured again by monitoring CO2 production. Results showed a general reduction in gas production by irradiated samples, together with non-linear and non-monotone response to dose. There was also evidence of oscillations in cell metabolic activity and of X-ray induced changes in oscillation frequency.