Cationic toxicity is involved in a substantial number of biological phenomena, such as salt stress in crops and many human diseases. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae represents an excellent model to understand the basis for such toxicity at a systemic level, since most of the cation transporter/channel systems for sodium, potassium, calcium and diverse heavy metals have been identified and the regulatory elements and networks are relatively well defined, at least from a static point of view.

The aim of the
TRANSLUCENT project is to investigate transcription modules, gene clusters and associated genetic networks by specific alkali-metal- or divalent cation transporter/channel gene expression profiles in this simple unicellular organism taking advantage of its enormous accessibility to high throughput technologies. TRANSLUCENT will combine transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic techniques with biochemical and genetic tools to provide enough data to generate predictive mathematical models that could allow a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms that ensure proper cation uptake and metabolism. These models could be used to extend what has been learned in yeast on more complex organisms, such as crop plants or humans.