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Microb Cell. 2016 Sep 19;3(10):522-528. doi: 10.15698/mic2016.10.535.

Putative mitochondrial α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase Fmp12 controls utilization of proline as an energy source in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara 630-0192, Japan.


The amino acid proline functions as a nitrogen source and as a stress protectant in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. However, utilization of proline as a carbon source in S. cerevisiae cells has not been studied yet. In the process of study on the physiological roles of the found-in-mitochondrial-proteome (FMP) genes in proline metabolism, we found that Δfmp12 cells could grow better than wild-type cells on agar plate medium containing proline as the sole nitrogen and carbon sources. In contrast, overexpression of FMP12 negatively affected cell growth under the same condition. The Fmp12 protein was localized in the mitochondria and was constitutively expressed. Deletion of the genes that encode mitochondrial enzymes, such as proline dehydrogenase (PUT1), Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase (PUT2), alanine transaminase (ALT1), and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase subunit (KGD1), abolished the enhanced cell growth in Δfmp12. These results provided the first evidence that proline can be utilized as a carbon source via the mitochondrial proline metabolic pathway and the subsequent tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in S. cerevisiae. The function of Fmp12, which has a similarity with α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases of the yeast Candida species and human, might inhibit cell growth by skipping the ATP production step of the TCA cycle.


Fmp12; carbon source; mitochondria; proline; yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae; α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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