Disturbance of the machinery for the gene expression by acidic pH in the repressible acid phosphatase system of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Mol Gen Genet. 1978 Jun 14;162(2):139-49. doi: 10.1007/BF00267870.


When the pH of growth medium containing a limited amount of inorganic phosphate is kept below 3.0, cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae produce repressible alkaline phosphatase but no repressible acid phosphatase. The same cells produce acid phosphatase immediately on shifting the medium pH to 4.0 or above. Like intact cells, spheroplasts prepared from cells grown at pH 3.0 or 4.5 in medium with a limited amount of inorganic phosphate in suspension begin production of acid phosphatase immediately after pH shift from below 3.0 to 4.0 whereas sheroplasts from cells grown in inorganic phosphate-rich medium showed a prolonged lag period (3 h). The enzyme formation on the pH shift was sensitive to cycloheximide. No significant differences could be detected in cellular growth or in incorporation of 3H-L-lysine or 14C-adenine between cells cultivated at pH 3.0 and 4.5. These results along with the fact that the expression of structural genes of repressible acid and alkaline phosphatases is controlled by a common genetic regulatory system, at least in part, indicate that the genetic regulatory system operates to express the structural genes even at low pH, though the expression of repressible acid phosphatase is interrupted. Coupled experiments of temperature and pH shifts with the temperature-sensitive mutants of the regulatory genes suggest that the acidic pH affects the function of the cytoplasmic products of those genes in the expression of the structural gene. Based on these observations, a revised model involving the simultaneous functioning of the regulatory factors was suggested for the genetic regulation of repressible acid phosphatase synthesis.

MeSH terms

  • Acid Phosphatase / biosynthesis
  • Acid Phosphatase / genetics*
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / biosynthesis
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / genetics
  • Culture Media
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Repression* / drug effects
  • Genes
  • Genes, Regulator*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Sucrase / biosynthesis


  • Culture Media
  • Cycloheximide
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Sucrase