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FEMS Yeast Res. 2006 Dec;6(8):1235-42.

Galactose transport in Kluyveromyces lactis: major role of the glucose permease Hgt1.

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Dipartimento di Genetica Antropologia Evoluzione, University of Parma, Parma, Italy.


In Kluyveromyces lactis, galactose transport has been thought to be mediated by the lactose permease encoded by LAC12. In fact, a lac12 mutant unable to grow on lactose did not grow on galactose either and showed low and uninducible galactose uptake activity. The existence of other galactose transport systems, at low and at high affinity, had, however, been hypothesized on the basis of galactose uptake kinetics studies. Here we confirmed the existence of a second galactose transporter and we isolated its structural gene. It turned out to be HGT1, previously identified as encoding the high-affinity glucose carrier. Analysis of galactose transporter mutants, hgt1 and lac12, and the double mutant hgt1lac12, suggested that Hgt1 was the high-affinity and Lac12 was the low-affinity galactose transporter. HGT1 expression was strongly induced by galactose and insensitive to glucose repression. This could explain the rapid adaptation to galactose observed in K. lactis after a shift from glucose to galactose medium.

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