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Keywords:

  • metabolism;
  • respiration;
  • hexose transport;
  • glycolysis;
  • signalling

The biochemistry of most metabolic pathways is conserved from bacteria to humans, although the control mechanisms are adapted to the needs of each cell type. Oxygen depletion commonly controls the switch from respiration to fermentation. However, Saccharomyces cerevisiae also controls that switch in response to the external glucose level. We have generated an S. cerevisiae strain in which glucose uptake is dependent on a chimeric hexose transporter mediating reduced sugar uptake. This strain shows a fully respiratory metabolism also at high glucose levels as seen for aerobic organisms, and switches to fermentation only when oxygen is lacking. These observations illustrate that manipulating a single step can alter the mode of metabolism. The novel yeast strain is an excellent tool to study the mechanisms underlying glucose-induced signal transduction.