• Ethanol tolerance;
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe;
  • Squalene;
  • Ergosterol;
  • Lanosterol;
  • Membrane fluidity

Abstract Ergosterol, lanosterol and two further unidentified sterols were detected and quantified in Schizosaccharomyces pombe cell extracts. In cells grown under anaerobic conditions, the levels of these sterols were dramatically reduced with a concomitant increase of their squaline precursor as compared with cells growing under aerobic conditions. Presence of ethanol resulted in a decrease in the sterol content under aerobic conditions. On the contrary, under anaerobic conditions presence of ethanol resulted in a three-fold increase of total sterols. Lanosterol was the main constituent of this elevation. It is suggested that lanosterol in parallel with unsaturated fatty acids is responsible for maintaining membrane integrity of S. pombe cells growing in the presence of ethanol.