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FEMS Yeast Res. 2010 Mar;10(2):134-49. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2009.00587.x. Epub 2009 Oct 17.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae plasma membrane nutrient sensors and their role in PKA signaling.

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Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Botany and Microbiology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


The ability to elicit a fast intracellular signal leading to an adaptive response is crucial for the survival of microorganisms in response to changing environmental conditions. Therefore, in order to sense changes in nutrient availability, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has evolved three different classes of nutrient-sensing proteins acting at the plasma membrane: G protein-coupled receptors or classical receptor proteins, which detect the presence of certain nutrients and activate signal transduction in association with a G protein; nontransporting transceptors, i.e. nutrient carrier homologues with only a receptor function, previously called nutrient sensors; and transporting transceptors, i.e. active nutrient carriers that combine the functions of a nutrient transporter and receptor. Here, we provide an updated overview of the proteins involved in sensing nutrients for rapid activation of the protein kinase A pathway, which belong to the first and the third category, and we also provide a comparison with the best-known examples of the second category, the nontransporting transceptors, which control the expression of the regular transporters for the nutrient sensed by these proteins.

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