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Microbiology. 2004 Apr;150(Pt 4):1085-1093. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.26845-0.

TCA cycle activity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a function of the environmentally determined specific growth and glucose uptake rates.

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Institute of Biotechnology, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.


Metabolic responses of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to different physical and chemical environmental conditions were investigated in glucose batch culture by GC-MS-detected mass isotopomer distributions in proteinogenic amino acids from (13)C-labelling experiments. For this purpose, GC-MS-based metabolic flux ratio analysis was extended from bacteria to the compartmentalized metabolism of S. cerevisiae. Generally, S. cerevisiae was shown to have low catabolic fluxes through the pentose phosphate pathway and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Notably, respiratory TCA cycle fluxes exhibited a strong correlation with the maximum specific growth rate that was attained under different environmental conditions, including a wide range of pH, osmolarity, decoupler and salt concentrations, but not temperature. At pH values of 4.0 to 6.0 with near-maximum growth rates, the TCA cycle operated as a bifurcated pathway to fulfil exclusively biosynthetic functions. Increasing or decreasing the pH beyond this physiologically optimal range, however, reduced growth and glucose uptake rates but increased the 'cyclic' respiratory mode of TCA cycle operation for catabolism. Thus, the results indicate that glucose repression of the TCA cycle is regulated by the rates of growth or glucose uptake, or signals derived from these. While sensing of extracellular glucose concentrations has a general influence on the in vivo TCA cycle activity, the growth-rate-dependent increase in respiratory TCA cycle activity was independent of glucose sensing.

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