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Yeast. 2002 Sep 15;19(12):1029-38.

HXT5 expression is determined by growth rates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology and the Institute of Biomembranes, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.


In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, hexose transporter (Hxt) proteins transport glucose across the plasma membrane. The Hxt proteins are encoded by a multigene family with 20 members, of which Hxt1-4p and Hxt6-7p are the major hexose transporters. The remaining Hxt proteins have other or unknown functions. In this study, expression of HXT5 under different experimental set-ups is determined. In glucose-grown batch cultures, HXT5 is expressed prior to glucose depletion. Independent of the carbon source used in batch cultures, HXT5 is expressed after 24 h of growth and during growth on ethanol or glycerol, which indicates that growth on glucose is not necessary for expression of HXT5. Increasing the temperature or osmolarity of the growth medium also induces expression of HXT5. In fed-batch cultures, expression of HXT5 is only observed at low glucose consumption rates, independent of the extracellular glucose concentration. The only common parameter in these experiments is that an increase of HXT5 expression is accompanied by a decrease of the growth rate of cells. To determine whether HXT5 expression is determined by the growth rate, cells were grown in a nitrogen-limited continuous culture, which enables modulation of only the growth rate of cells. Indeed, HXT5 is expressed only at low dilution rates. Therefore, our results indicate that expression of HXT5 is regulated by growth rates of cells, rather than by extracellular glucose concentrations, as is the case for the major HXTs. A possible function for Hxt5p and factors responsible for increased expression of HXT5 upon low growth rates is discussed.

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