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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1997 Jul 15;152(2):261-7.

On the unidirectionality of arginine uptake in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Institute of Microbiology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.


The reversibility of arginine accumulation was followed in exponentially growing cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in the same cells transferred to non-growing energized conditions. Under non-growing conditions the accumulated arginine is retained in the cells while in exponentially growing cells the accumulated radioactivity is released after the addition of high external concentrations of arginine. There are indications that the process is saturable. The accumulated arginine is not exchanged for other related amino acids (L-citrulline, L-histidine). Only L-lysine (a low-affinity substrate of the specific arginine permease) provokes partial radioactivity efflux from the cells. The switch of the arginine-related radioactive label efflux to its complete retention in the cells after changing the growth conditions occurs within a few minutes and is tentatively attributed to two concomitantly occurring events: (1) the actual presence of radioactive arginine (not its metabolite(s)) in the cell and (2) a modification of the specific arginine permease. The specific exchange of arginine described in the present study contrasts with the currently widely accepted opinion of unidirectionality of amino acid fluxes in yeast. The reasons why this phenomenon has not been observed before are discussed.

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