Methylthioadenosine and polyamine biosynthesis in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae meu1delta mutant

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Apr 28;343(1):203-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.02.144. Epub 2006 Mar 3.


As part of our studies on polyamine biosynthesis in yeast, the metabolism of methylthioadenosine was studied in a mutant that lacks methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (meu1delta). The nucleoside accumulates in this mutant and is mainly excreted into the culture medium. Intracellular accumulation of the nucleoside is enough to account for the inhibition of spermidine synthase and thus to indirectly regulate the polyamine content of the meu1delta cells. By comparing the results with this mutant with a meu1delta spe2delta mutant that cannot synthesize spermidine or spermine, we showed that >98% of methylthioadenosine is produced as a byproduct of polyamine synthesis (i.e., from decarboxylated S-adenosylmethionine). In contrast, in MEU1+ SPE2+ cells methylthioadenosine does not accumulate and is metabolized through the methionine salvage pathway. Using a met15delta mutant we show that this pathway (i.e., involving polyamine biosynthesis and methylthioadenosine metabolism) is a significant factor in the metabolism of methionine, accounting for 15% of the added methionine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenosine / biosynthesis
  • Gene Deletion
  • Methionine / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics*
  • Spermidine / biosynthesis*
  • Spermine / biosynthesis*
  • Thionucleosides / biosynthesis*


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Thionucleosides
  • Spermine
  • 2-methylthioadenosine
  • Methionine
  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase
  • 5'-methylthioadenosine phosphorylase
  • Adenosine
  • Spermidine