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J Biol Chem. 2004 Mar 5;279(10):9125-38. Epub 2003 Nov 20.

Role of transcriptional regulation in controlling fluxes in central carbon metabolism of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A chemostat culture study.

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  • 1Kluyver Laboratory of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Julianalaan 67, 2628 BC Delft, The Netherlands. p.lapujade@tnw.tudelft.nl


In contrast to batch cultivation, chemostat cultivation allows the identification of carbon source responses without interference by carbon-catabolite repression, accumulation of toxic products, and differences in specific growth rate. This study focuses on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, grown in aerobic, carbon-limited chemostat cultures. Genome-wide transcript levels and in vivo fluxes were compared for growth on two sugars, glucose and maltose, and for two C2-compounds, ethanol and acetate. In contrast to previous reports on batch cultures, few genes (180 genes) responded to changes of the carbon source by a changed transcript level. Very few transcript levels were changed when glucose as the growth-limiting nutrient was compared with maltose (33 transcripts), or when acetate was compared with ethanol (16 transcripts). Although metabolic flux analysis using a stoichiometric model revealed major changes in the central carbon metabolism, only 117 genes exhibited a significantly different transcript level when sugars and C2-compounds were provided as the growth-limiting nutrient. Despite the extensive knowledge on carbon source regulation in yeast, many of the carbon source-responsive genes encoded proteins with unknown or incompletely characterized biological functions. In silico promoter analysis of carbon source-responsive genes confirmed the involvement of several known transcriptional regulators and suggested the involvement of additional regulators. Transcripts involved in the glyoxylate cycle and gluconeogenesis showed a good correlation with in vivo fluxes. This correlation was, however, not observed for other important pathways, including the pentose-phosphate pathway, tricarboxylic acid cycle, and, in particular, glycolysis. These results indicate that in vivo fluxes in the central carbon metabolism of S. cerevisiae grown in steadystate, carbon-limited chemostat cultures are controlled to a large extent via post-transcriptional mechanisms.

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