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How does azide work in yeast?

Michael Andres McMurray mmcmurra at u.washington.edu
Tue Jan 18 22:05:14 EST 2000

Here's a silly question that I can't seem to figure out:

Azide blocks cytochrome c oxidase, preventing the generation of ATP by
oxidative phosphorylation.  It's obvious why it would be deadly for
bacteria and for human cells.  Yeast cells, however, can clearly survive
without functional mitochondria (as petites on fermentable carbon
sources); I was told this is because they can generate sufficient ATP
from, say, the generation of pyruvate from glucose via glycolysis.  How,
then, does azide kill yeast cells?



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