Induction of the Sugar-Phosphate Stress Response Allows Saccharomyces cerevisiae 2-Methyl-4-Amino-5-Hydroxymethylpyrimidine Phosphate Synthase To Function in Salmonella enterica

J Bacteriol. 2015 Nov;197(22):3554-62. doi: 10.1128/JB.00576-15. Epub 2015 Aug 31.


Thiamine pyrophosphate is a required cofactor for all forms of life. The pyrimidine moiety of thiamine, 2-methyl-4-amino-5-hydroxymethylpyrimidine phosphate (HMP-P), is synthesized by different mechanisms in bacteria and plants compared to fungi. In this study, Salmonella enterica was used as a host to probe requirements for activity of the yeast HMP-P synthase, Thi5p. Thi5p synthesizes HMP-P from histidine and pyridoxal-5-phosphate and was reported to use a backbone histidine as the substrate, which would mean that it was a single-turnover enzyme. Heterologous expression of Thi5p did not complement an S. enterica HMP-P auxotroph during growth with glucose as the sole carbon source. Genetic analyses described here showed that Thi5p was activated in S. enterica by alleles of sgrR that induced the sugar-phosphate stress response. Deletion of ptsG (encodes enzyme IICB [EIICB] of the phosphotransferase system [PTS]) also allowed function of Thi5p and required sgrR but not sgrS. This result suggested that the role of sgrS in activation of Thi5p was to decrease PtsG activity. In total, the data herein supported the hypothesis that one mechanism to activate Thi5p in S. enterica grown on minimal medium containing glucose (minimal glucose medium) required decreased PtsG activity and an unidentified gene regulated by SgrR.

Importance: This work describes a metabolic link between the sugar-phosphate stress response and the yeast thiamine biosynthetic enzyme Thi5p when heterologously expressed in Salmonella enterica during growth on minimal glucose medium. Suppressor analysis (i) identified a mutant class of the regulator SgrR that activate sugar-phosphate stress response constitutively and (ii) determined that Thi5p is conditionally active in S. enterica. These results emphasized the power of genetic systems in model organisms to uncover enzyme function and underlying metabolic network structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial / physiology
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mutation
  • Phosphates / pharmacology*
  • Pyrimidines / chemistry
  • Pyrimidines / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology*
  • Salmonella enterica / metabolism*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Phosphates
  • Pyrimidines
  • toxopyrimidine