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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.


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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