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Keywords:

  • Saccharomyces;
  • glucose sensing;
  • mating;
  • GPR1;
  • GPCR

Abstract

Many fungi have evolved mechanisms to assess environmental nutrient availability prior to the energy-intensive process of mating. In this study, we examined one such system in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, involving a glucose-sensing pathway mediated by Gpr1p and the pheromone-induced mating pathway. Initially we observed that the mating pathway in MATa cells is sensitive to environmental glucose depletion. This phenomenon can be partially reversed with a high glucose spike, but not with the addition of low levels of glucose. Deletion of the low-affinity glucose receptor, Gpr1p, eliminated this glucose-induced recovery of pheromone responsiveness. We then determined the impact of GPR1 deletion on the mating pathway and observed that, in all end points studied, the mating pathway response to pheromone is reduced in the absence of Gpr1p. Similarly, elimination of the Gα for Gpr1p, Gpa2p, resulted in reduction in pheromone sensitivity in all assays studied. The negative effect of removing Gpr1p on mating pathway activation could be recovered by overexpressing the mating receptor, Ste2p. Furthermore, Ste2p levels are reduced in the absence of glucose and GPR1. These data suggest that activity of the GPCR-mediated mating pathway in S. cerevisiae is modulated by extracellular glucose concentrations through the only other GPCR in MATa cells, Gpr1p. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.