Transcriptional control of nonfermentative metabolism in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Curr Genet. 2003 Jun;43(3):139-60. doi: 10.1007/s00294-003-0381-8. Epub 2003 Apr 25.


Although sugars are clearly the preferred carbon sources of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, nonfermentable substrates such as ethanol, glycerol, lactate, acetate or oleate can also be used for the generation of energy and cellular biomass. Several regulatory networks of glucose repression (carbon catabolite repression) are involved in the coordinate biosynthesis of enzymes required for the utilization of nonfermentable substrates. Positively and negatively acting complexes of pleiotropic regulatory proteins have been characterized. The Snf1 (Cat1) protein kinase complex, together with its regulatory subunit Snf4 (Cat3) and alternative beta-subunits Sip1, Sip2 or Gal83, plays an outstanding role for the derepression of structural genes which are repressed in the presence of a high glucose concentration. One molecular function of the Snf1 complex is deactivation by phosphorylation of the general glucose repressor Mig1. In addition to regulation of alternative sugar fermentation, Mig1 also influences activators of respiration and gluconeogenesis, although to a lesser extent. Snf1 is also required for conversion of specific regulatory factors into transcriptional activators. This review summarizes regulatory cis-acting elements of structural genes of the nonfermentative metabolism, together with the corresponding DNA-binding proteins (Hap2-5, Rtg1-3, Cat8, Sip4, Adr1, Oaf1, Pip2), and describes the molecular interactions among general regulators and pathway-specific factors. In addition to the influence of the carbon source at the transcriptional level, mechanisms of post-transcriptional control such as glucose-regulated stability of mRNA are also discussed briefly.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Carrier Proteins*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism / genetics*
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Gluconeogenesis / genetics
  • Glucose
  • Models, Chemical
  • Oleic Acid
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • MIG1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Oleic Acid
  • Protein Kinases
  • SNF1-related protein kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • SNF4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Glucose