Control of mRNA turnover as a mechanism of glucose repression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1998 Nov;30(11):1175-93. doi: 10.1016/s1357-2725(98)00086-7.


The phenomenon of glucose repression in yeast is concerned with the repression of a large number of genes when glucose is an abundant carbon source and almost all of the energy requirements of the cell can be satisfied from glycolysis. Prominent among the repressed genes are those encoding mitochondrial proteins required for respiration and oxidative phosphorylation. Past studies have characterized a pathway by which a signal generated from extracellular glucose is transmitted to the nucleus. The ultimate outcome is the repression of transcription of numerous genes, but also the induction of a limited number of others. The emphasis has been almost exclusively on transcriptional control mechanisms. A discovery made originally with the transcript of the SDH2 gene prompted an investigation of post-transcriptional mechanisms, and more specifically a study of the turnover rate of this mRNA in the absence and presence of glucose. SDH2 mRNA has a very short half-life in medium with glucose (YPD) and a significantly longer half-life in medium with glycerol (YPG). Experimental evidence and recent progress in understanding of (1) mRNA turnover in yeast and (2) initiation of translation on the 5' untranslated region of mRNAs, lead to a working hypothesis with the following major features: the carbon source, via a signaling pathway involving kinase/phosphatase activities, controls the rate of initiation, and thus influences a competition between eukaryotic initiation factors (prominently eIF4E, eIF4G, eIF3) binding to the capped mRNA and a decapping activity (DCP1) which is one of the rate limiting activities in the turnover of such mRNAs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carbohydrate Dehydrogenases / genetics
  • Carbohydrate Dehydrogenases / metabolism
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Peptide Initiation Factors / genetics
  • Peptide Initiation Factors / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E
  • Peptide Initiation Factors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Carbohydrate Dehydrogenases
  • sorbose dehydrogenase
  • Glucose