Localization and kinetics of pyruvate-metabolizing enzymes in relation to aerobic alcoholic fermentation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae CBS 8066 and Candida utilis CBS 621.Biochim Biophys Acta. 1989 Jul 21; 992(1):78-86.BB
The role of pyruvate metabolism in the triggering of aerobic, alcoholic fermentation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been studied. Since Candida utilis does not exhibit a Crabtree effect. this yeast was used as a reference organism. The localization, activity and kinetic properties of pyruvate carboxylase (EC 126.96.36.199), the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and pyruvate decarboxylase (EC 188.8.131.52) in cells of glucose-limited chemostat cultures of the two yeasts were compared. In contrast to the general situation in fungi, plants and animals, pyruvate carboxylase was found to be a cytosolic enzyme in both yeasts. This implies that for anabolic processes, transport of C4-dicarboxylic acids into the mitochondria is required. Isolated mitochondria from both yeasts exhibited the same kinetics with respect to oxidation of malate. Also, the affinity of isolated mitochondria for pyruvate oxidation and the in situ activity of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex was similar in both types of mitochondria. The activity of the cytosolic enzyme pyruvate decarboxylase in S. cerevisiae from glucose-limited chemostat cultures was 8-fold that in C. utilis. The enzyme was purified from both organisms, and its kinetic properties were determined. Pyruvate decarboxylase of both yeasts was competitively inhibited by inorganic phosphate. The enzyme of S. cerevisiae was more sensitive to this inhibitor than the enzyme of C. utilis. The in vivo role of phosphate inhibition of pyruvate decarboxylase upon transition of cells from glucose limitation to glucose excess and the associated triggering of alcoholic fermentation was investigated with 31P-NMR. In both yeasts this transition resulted in a rapid drop of the cytosolic inorganic phosphate concentration. It is concluded that the relief from phosphate inhibition does stimulate alcoholic fermentation, but it is not a prerequisite for pyruvate decarboxylase to become active in vivo. Rather, a high glycolytic flux and a high level of this enzyme are decisive for the occurrence of alcoholic fermentation after transfer of cells from glucose limitation to glucose excess.