Fermentable sugars and intracellular acidification as specific activators of the RAS-adenylate cyclase signalling pathway in yeast: the relationship to nutrient-induced cell cycle control

Mol Microbiol. 1991 Jun;5(6):1301-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1991.tb00776.x.


The RAS proteins of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae fulfil a similar control function on yeast adenylate cyclase as the mammalian Gs proteins on mammalian adenylate cyclase. The discovery that glucose and other fermentable sugars act as specific activators of the RAS-adenylate cyclase pathway in yeast appeared to offer a mechanism for the way in which at least one nutrient would control progression over the start point in the G1 phase of the yeast cell cycle by means of this pathway. Recently, however, evidence has been obtained to show that the glucose-activation pathway of adenylate cyclase is a glucose-repressible pathway and therefore not operative during growth on glucose. In addition, mutant strains were obtained which lack the glucose-activation pathway and show normal exponential growth on glucose. This appears to confine the physiological role of this pathway to control of the transition from the derepressed state (growth on respirative carbon sources) to the repressed state (growth on fermentative carbon sources) by means of an already well-documented cAMP-triggered protein phosphorylation cascade. Intracellular acidification also stimulates the RAS-adenylate cyclase pathway, which might constitute a rescue mechanism for cells suffering from stress conditions. The presence of a nitrogen source does not stimulate the RAS-adenylate cyclase pathway. Although other nutrient signals for the pathway might still be discovered, it appears more and more likely that the well-known requirement of cAMP for progression over the start point of the yeast cell cycle is limited to providing a basal cAMP level rather than acting as a second messenger for an extracellular signal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • G1 Phase
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Phosphorylation
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / cytology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • ras Proteins*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Cyclic AMP
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • ras Proteins
  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • Glucose