Regulation of Amino Acid Transport in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2019 Oct 16;83(4):e00024-19. doi: 10.1128/MMBR.00024-19. Print 2019 Nov 20.


We review the mechanisms responsible for amino acid homeostasis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other fungi. Amino acid homeostasis is essential for cell growth and survival. Hence, the de novo synthesis reactions, metabolic conversions, and transport of amino acids are tightly regulated. Regulation varies from nitrogen pool sensing to control by individual amino acids and takes place at the gene (transcription), protein (posttranslational modification and allostery), and vesicle (trafficking and endocytosis) levels. The pools of amino acids are controlled via import, export, and compartmentalization. In yeast, the majority of the amino acid transporters belong to the APC (amino acid-polyamine-organocation) superfamily, and the proteins couple the uphill transport of amino acids to the electrochemical proton gradient. Although high-resolution structures of yeast amino acid transporters are not available, homology models have been successfully exploited to determine and engineer the catalytic and regulatory functions of the proteins. This has led to a further understanding of the underlying mechanisms of amino acid sensing and subsequent downregulation of transport. Advances in optical microscopy have revealed a new level of regulation of yeast amino acid transporters, which involves membrane domain partitioning. The significance and the interrelationships of the latest discoveries on amino acid homeostasis are put in context.

Keywords: Saccharomyces cerevisiae; amino acid homeostasis; membrane partitioning; plasma membrane; regulation of transport; solute transport; systemic fungi; trafficking.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acid Transport Systems / genetics
  • Amino Acid Transport Systems / metabolism*
  • Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Homeostasis
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Amino Acid Transport Systems
  • Amino Acids
  • Nitrogen