The Expanding Landscape of Moonlighting Proteins in Yeasts

Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2016 Jul 27;80(3):765-77. doi: 10.1128/MMBR.00012-16. Print 2016 Sep.


Moonlighting proteins are multifunctional proteins that participate in unrelated biological processes and that are not the result of gene fusion. A certain number of these proteins have been characterized in yeasts, and the easy genetic manipulation of these microorganisms has been useful for a thorough analysis of some cases of moonlighting. As the awareness of the moonlighting phenomenon has increased, a growing number of these proteins are being uncovered. In this review, we present a crop of newly identified moonlighting proteins from yeasts and discuss the experimental evidence that qualifies them to be classified as such. The variety of moonlighting functions encompassed by the proteins considered extends from control of transcription to DNA repair or binding to plasminogen. We also discuss several questions pertaining to the moonlighting condition in general. The cases presented show that yeasts are important organisms to be used as tools to understand different aspects of moonlighting proteins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Candida albicans / enzymology*
  • Candida albicans / genetics
  • Candida albicans / metabolism
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Kluyveromyces / enzymology*
  • Kluyveromyces / genetics
  • Kluyveromyces / metabolism
  • Multifunctional Enzymes / genetics
  • Multifunctional Enzymes / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Schizosaccharomyces / enzymology*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Multifunctional Enzymes