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J Bacteriol. 1984 Apr;158(1):29-35.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants provide evidence of hexokinase PII as a bifunctional enzyme with catalytic and regulatory domains for triggering carbon catabolite repression.


A selection system has been devised for isolating hexokinase PII structural gene mutants that cause defects in carbon catabolite repression, but retain normal catalytic activity. We used diploid parental strains with homozygotic defects in the hexokinase PI structural gene and with only one functional hexokinase PII allele. Of 3,000 colonies tested, 35 mutants (hex1r) did not repress the synthesis of invertase, maltase, malate dehydrogenase, and respiratory enzymes. These mutants had additional hexokinase PII activity. In contrast to hex1 mutants (Entian et al., Mol. Gen. Genet. 156:99-105, 1977; F.K. Zimmermann and I. Scheel, Mol. Gen. Genet. 154:75-82, 1977), which were allelic to structural gene mutants of hexokinase PII and had no catalytic activity (K.-D. Entian, Mol. Gen. Gent. 178:633-637, 1980), the hex1r mutants sporulated hardly at all or formed aberrant cells. Those ascospores obtained were mostly inviable. As the few viable hex1r segregants were sterile, triploid cells were constructed to demonstrate allelism between hex1r mutants and hexokinase PII structural gene mutants. Metabolite concentrations, growth rate, and ethanol production were the same in hex1r mutants and their corresponding wild-type strains. Recombination of hexokinase and glucokinase alleles gave strains with different specific activities. The defect in carbon catabolite repression was strongly associated with the defect in hexokinase PII and was independent of the glucose phosphorylating capacity. Hence, a secondary effect caused by reduced hexose phosphorylation was not responsible for the repression defect in hex1 mutants. These results, and those with the hex1r mutants isolated, strongly supported our earlier hypothesis that hexokinase PII is a bifunctional enzyme with (i) catalytic activity and (ii) a regulatory component triggering carbon catabolite repression (Entian, Mol. Gen. Genet. 178:633-637, 1980; K.-D. Entian and D. Mecke, J. Biol. Chem. 257:870-874, 1982).

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