Inhibition of Saccharomyces cerevisiae growth by simultaneous uptake of glucose and maltose

J Biosci Bioeng. 2018 Jan;125(1):52-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiosc.2017.07.013. Epub 2017 Sep 15.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae expresses α-glucoside transporters, such as MalX1p (X=1(Agt1p), 2, 3, 4, and 6), which are proton symporters. These transporters are regulated at transcriptional and posttranslational levels in the presence of glucose. Malt wort contains glucose, maltose, and maltotriose, and the assimilation of maltose is delayed as a function of glucose concentration. With the objective of increasing beer fermentation rates, we characterized α-glucoside transporters and bred laboratory yeasts that expressed various α-glucoside transporters for the simultaneous uptake of different sugars. Mal21p was found to be the most resistant transporter to glucose-induced degradation, and strain (HD17) expressing MAL21 grew on a medium containing glucose or maltose, but not on a medium containing both sugars (YPDM). This unexpected growth defect was observed on a medium containing glucose and >0.1% maltose but was not exhibited by a strain that constitutively expressed maltase. The defect depended on intracellular maltose concentration. Although maltose accumulation caused a surge in turgor pressure, addition of sorbitol to YPDM did not increase growth. When strain HD17 was cultivated in a medium containing only maltose, protein synthesis was inhibited at early times but subsequently resumed with reduction in accumulated maltose, but not if the medium was exchanged for YPDM. We conclude that protein synthesis was terminated under the accumulation of maltose, regardless of extracellular osmolarity, and HD17 could not resume growth, because the intracellular concentration of maltose did not decrease due to insufficient synthesis of maltase. Yeast should incorporate maltose after expressing adequate maltase in beer brewing.

Keywords: Glucose; Growth inhibition; Maltose; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; α-Glucoside transporters.

MeSH terms

  • Beer / microbiology
  • Biological Transport
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Fermentation
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Maltose / metabolism*
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Trisaccharides / metabolism


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • Trisaccharides
  • maltotriose
  • Maltose
  • Glucose