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OMICS. 2010 Dec;14(6):629-38. doi: 10.1089/omi.2010.0069. Epub 2010 Sep 23.

Transcriptional regulation in yeast during diauxic shift and stationary phase.

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Department of Biological Sciences, St. John's University, Queens, New York, USA.


The preferred source of carbon and energy for yeast cells is glucose. When yeast cells are grown in liquid cultures, they metabolize glucose predominantly by glycolysis, releasing ethanol in the medium. When glucose becomes limiting, the cells enter diauxic shift characterized by decreased growth rate and by switching metabolism from glycolysis to aerobic utilization of ethanol. When ethanol is depleted from the medium, cells enter quiescent or stationary phase G(0). Cells in diauxic shift and stationary phase are stressed by the lack of nutrients and by accumulation of toxic metabolites, primarily from the oxidative metabolism, and are differentiated in ways that allow them to maintain viability for extended periods of time. The transition of yeast cells from exponential phase to quiescence is regulated by protein kinase A, TOR, Snf1p, and Rim15p pathways that signal changes in availability of nutrients, converge on transcriptional factors Msn2p, Msn4p, and Gis1p, and elicit extensive reprogramming of the transcription machinery. However, the events in transcriptional regulation during diauxic shift and quiescence are incompletely understood. Because cells from multicellular eukaryotic organisms spend most of their life in G(0) phase, understanding transcriptional regulation in quiescence will inform other fields, such as cancer, development, and aging.

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