Nitrogen regulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Gene. 2002 May 15;290(1-2):1-18. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1119(02)00558-9.


Yeast cells can respond to growth on relatively poor nitrogen sources by increasing expression of the enzymes for the synthesis of glutamate and glutamine and by increasing the activities of permeases responsible for the uptake of amino acids for use as a source of nitrogen. These general responses to the quality of nitrogen source in the growth medium are collectively termed nitrogen regulation. In this review, we discuss the historical foundations of the study of nitrogen regulation as well as the current understanding of the regulatory networks that underlie nitrogen regulation. One focus of the review is the array of four GATA type transcription factors which are responsible for the regulation the expression of nitrogen-regulated genes. They are the activators Gln3p and Nil1p and their antagonists Nil2p and Dal80p. Our discussion includes consideration of the DNA elements which are the targets of the transcription factors and of the regulated translocation of Gln3p and Nil1p from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. A second focus of the review is the nitrogen regulation of the general amino acid permease, Gap1p, and the proline permease, Put4p, by ubiquitin mediated intracellular protein sorting in the secretory and endosomal pathways.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Transport Systems / metabolism
  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / drug effects
  • Ketoglutaric Acids / metabolism
  • Nitrogen Compounds / metabolism
  • Nitrogen Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism


  • Amino Acid Transport Systems
  • Amino Acids
  • Ketoglutaric Acids
  • Nitrogen Compounds