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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Apr 1981; 78(4): 2125–2129.
PMCID: PMC319296

31P NMR studies of intracellular pH and phosphate metabolism during cell division cycle of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


We have analyzed changes in intracellular pH and phosphate metabolism during the cell cycle of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (NCYC 239) by using high-resolution 31P NMR spectroscopy. High-density yeast cultures (2 x 10(8) cells per ml) were arrested prior to "start" by sequential glucose deprivation, after which they synchronously replicated DNA and divided after a final glucose feeding. Oxygenation of arrested cultures in the absence of glucose led to increased levels of sugar phosphates and ATP and an increase in intracellular pH. However, these conditions did not initiate cell cycle progression, indicating that energization is not used as an intracellular signal for initiation of the cell division cycle and that the cells need exogenous carbon sources for growth. Glucose refeeding initiated an alkaline intracellular pH transient only in the synchronous cultures, showing that increased intracellular pH accompanies the traversal of start. Changes in phosphate flow and utilization also were observed in the synchronous cultures. In particular, there was increased consumption of external phosphate during DNA synthesis. When external phosphate levels were low, the cells consumed their internal polyphosphate stores. This shows that, under these conditions, polyphosphate acts as a phosphate supply.

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