Reserve carbohydrates metabolism in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2001 Jan;25(1):125-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6976.2001.tb00574.x.


Glycogen and trehalose are the two glucose stores of yeast cells. The large variations in the cell content of these two compounds in response to different environmental changes indicate that their metabolism is controlled by complex regulatory systems. In this review we present information on the regulation of the activity of the enzymes implicated in the pathways of synthesis and degradation of glycogen and trehalose as well as on the transcriptional control of the genes encoding them. cAMP and the protein kinases Snf1 and Pho85 appear as major actors in this regulation. From a metabolic point of view, glucose-6-phosphate seems the major effector in the net synthesis of glycogen and trehalose. We discuss also the implication of the recently elucidated TOR-dependent nutrient signalling pathway in the control of the yeast glucose stores and its integration in growth and cell division. The unexpected roles of glycogen and trehalose found in the control of glycolytic flux, stress responses and energy stores for the budding process, demonstrate that their presence confers survival and reproductive advantages to the cell. The findings discussed provide for the first time a teleonomic value for the presence of two different glucose stores in the yeast cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Glycogen / genetics
  • Glycogen / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Trehalose / genetics
  • Trehalose / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Glycogen
  • Trehalose