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Metabolite profiling studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: an assisting tool to prioritize host targets for antiviral drug screening

Konstantin Schneider1, Jens Olaf Krömer14, Christoph Wittmann15, Isabel Alves-Rodrigues3, Andreas Meyerhans2, Juana Diez23 and Elmar Heinzle1*

Author Affiliations

1 Biochemical Engineering Institute, Saarland University, 66123 Saarbrucken, Germany

2 Institute of Virology, Saarland University, 66421 Homburg, Germany

3 Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, University Pompeu Fabra, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

4 Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

5 Biochemical Engineering Institute, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany

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Microbial Cell Factories 2009, 8:12  doi:10.1186/1475-2859-8-12

Published: 30 January 2009



The cellular proteins Pat1p, Lsm1p, and Dhh1p are required for the replication of some positive-strand viruses and therefore are potential targets for new antiviral drugs. To prioritize host targets for antiviral drug screening a comparative metabolome analysis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae reference strain BY4742 Matα his3Δ1 leu2Δ0 lys2Δ0 ura3Δ0 and deletion strains pat1Δ, lsm1Δ and dhh1Δ was performed.


GC/MS analysis permitted the quantification of 47 polar metabolites and the identification of 41 of them. Metabolites with significant variation between the strains were identified using partial least squares to latent structures discriminate analysis (PLS-DA). The analysis revealed least differences of pat1Δ to the reference strain as characterized by Euclidian distance of normalized peak areas. The growth rate and specific production rates of ethanol and glycerol were also most similar with this strain.


From these results we hypothesize that the human analog of yeast Pat1p is most likely the best drug target candidate.