In the present work dynamic changes of free intracellular amino acid pools during autonomous oscillations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were quantified in glucose-limited continuous cultivations. At a dilution rate of D = 0.22 h(-1) cyclic changes with a period of 120 min were found for many variables such as carbon dioxide production rate, dissolved oxygen, pH, biomass content, and various metabolite concentrations. On the basis of the observed dynamic patterns, free intracellular amino acids were classified to show oscillatory, stationary, or chaotic behavior. Amino acid pools such as serine, alanine, valine, leucine, or lysine were subjected to clear oscillations with a frequency of 120 min, identical to that of other described cultivation variables, indicating that there is a direct correlation between the periodic changes of amino acid concentrations and the metabolic oscillations on the cellular level. The oscillations of these amino acids were unequally phase-delayed and had different amplitudes of oscillation. Accordingly, they exhibited different patterns in phase plane plots vs. intracellular trehalose. Despite the complex and marked metabolic changes during oscillation, selected intracellular amino acids such as histidine, threonine, isoleucine, or arginine remained about constant. Concentrations of glutamate and glutamine showed a chaotic behavior. However, the ratio of glutamate to glutamine concentration was found to be oscillatory, with a period of 60 min and a corresponding figure eight-shaped pattern in a plot vs. trehalose concentration. Considering the described diversity, it can be concluded that the observed periodic changes are neither just the consequence of low or high rates of protein biosynthesis/degradation nor correlated to changing cell volumes during oscillation. The ratio between doubling time (189 min) and period of oscillation of intracellular amino acids (120 min) was 1:6. The fact that there is a close relationship between doubling time and period of oscillation underlines that the described autonomous oscillations are cell-cycle-associated.
Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.