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Keywords:

  • Galactose;
  • Lactose;
  • GAL/LAC;
  • GAL/MEL;
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae;
  • Kluyveromyces lactis

Abstract

Despite their close phylogenetic relationship, Kluyveromyces lactis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae have adapted their carbon utilization systems to different environments. Although they share identities in the arrangement, sequence and functionality of their GAL gene set, both yeasts have evolved important differences in the GAL genetic switch in accordance to their relative preference for the utilization of galactose as a carbon source. This review provides a comparative overview of the GAL-specific regulatory network in S. cerevisiae and K. lactis, discusses the latest models proposed to explain the transduction of the galactose signal, and describes some of the particularities that both microorganisms display in their regulatory response to different carbon sources. Emphasis is placed on the potential for improved strategies in biotechnological applications using yeasts.