Spontaneous mutations that confer resistance to 2-deoxyglucose act through Hxk2 and Snf1 pathways to regulate gene expression and HXT endocytosis

PLoS Genet. 2020 Jul 16;16(7):e1008484. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008484. eCollection 2020 Jul.


Yeast and fast-growing human tumor cells share metabolic similarities in that both cells use fermentation of glucose for energy and both are highly sensitive to the glucose analog 2-deoxyglucose. Spontaneous mutations in S. cerevisiae that conferred resistance to 2-deoxyglucose were identified by whole genome sequencing. Missense alleles of the HXK2, REG1, GLC7 and SNF1 genes were shown to confer significant resistance to 2-deoxyglucose and all had the potential to alter the activity and or target selection of the Snf1 kinase signaling pathway. All three missense alleles in HXK2 resulted in significantly reduced catalytic activity. Addition of 2DG promotes endocytosis of the glucose transporter Hxt3. All but one of the 2DG-resistant strains reduced the 2DG-mediated hexose transporter endocytosis by increasing plasma membrane occupancy of the Hxt3 protein. Increased expression of the DOG (deoxyglucose) phosphatases has been associated with resistance to 2-deoxyglucose. Expression of both the DOG1 and DOG2 mRNA was elevated after treatment with 2-deoxyglucose but induction of these genes is not associated with 2DG-resistance. RNAseq analysis of the transcriptional response to 2DG showed large scale, genome-wide changes in mRNA abundance that were greatly reduced in the 2DG resistant strains. These findings suggest the common adaptive response to 2DG is to limit the magnitude of the response. Genetic studies of 2DG resistance using the dominant SNF1-G53R allele in cells that are genetically compromised in both the endocytosis and DOG pathways suggest that at least one more mechanism for conferring resistance to this glucose analog remains to be discovered.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Deoxyglucose / adverse effects
  • Deoxyglucose / pharmacology
  • Endocytosis / drug effects
  • Endocytosis / genetics
  • Energy Metabolism / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / drug effects
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative / genetics
  • Hexokinase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / genetics*
  • Protein Phosphatase 1 / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Whole Genome Sequencing


  • Glucose Transport Proteins, Facilitative
  • HXT3 protein, S cerevisiae
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Deoxyglucose
  • SNF1-related protein kinases
  • HXK2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Hexokinase
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • DOG2 protein, S cerevisiae
  • GLC7 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Protein Phosphatase 1
  • REG1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • Glucose