• yeast;
  • glycolysis;
  • trehalose 6-phosphate;
  • hexokinase;
  • permeabilized cells

In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, TPS1-encoded trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS) exerts an essential control on the influx of glucose into glycolysis, presumably by restricting hexokinase activity. Deletion of TPS1 results in severe hyperaccumulation of sugar phosphates and near absence of ethanol formation. To investigate whether trehalose 6-phosphate (Tre6P) is the sole mediator of hexokinase inhibition, we have reconstituted ethanolic fermentation from glucose in permeabilized spheroplasts of the wild-type, tps1Δ and tps2Δ (Tre6P phosphatase) strains. For the tps1Δ strain, ethanol production was significantly lower and was associated with hyperaccumulation of Glu6P and Fru6P. A tps2Δ strain shows reduced accumulation of Glu6P and Fru6P both in intact cells and in permeabilized spheroplasts. These results are not consistent with Tre6P being the sole mediator of hexokinase inhibition. Reconstitution of ethanolic fermentation in permeabilized spheroplasts with glycolytic intermediates indicates additional target site(s) for the Tps1 control. Addition of Tre6P partially shifts the ethanol production rate and the metabolite pattern in permeabilized tps1Δ spheroplasts to those of the wild-type strain, but only with glucose as substrate. This is observed at a very high ratio of glucose to Tre6P. Inhibition of hexokinase activity by Tre6P is less efficiently counteracted by glucose in permeabilized spheroplasts compared to cell extracts, and this effect is largely abolished by deletion of TPS2 but not TPS1. In permeabilized spheroplasts, hexokinase activity is significantly lower in a tps2Δ strain compared to a wild-type strain and this difference is strongly reduced by additional deletion of TPS1. These results indicate that Tps1-mediated protein–protein interactions are important for control of glucose influx into yeast glycolysis, that Tre6P inhibition of hexokinase might not be competitive with respect to glucose in vivo and that also Tps2 appears to play a role in the control of hexokinase activity.