Article

Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 124, Issue 2, pp 115-121

First online:

Methanol metabolism in yeasts: Regulation of the synthesis of catabolic enzymes

  • Th. EgliAffiliated withSwiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH-Hönggerberg
  • , J. P. van DijkenAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, University of Groningen
  • , M. VeenhuisAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, University of Groningen
  • , W. HarderAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, University of Groningen
  • , A. FiechterAffiliated withSwiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH-Hönggerberg

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Abstract

The regulation of the synthesis of four dissimilatory enzymes involved in methanol metabolism, namely alcohol oxidase, formaldehyde dehydrogenase, formate dehydrogenase and catalase was investigated in the yeasts Hansenula polymorpha and Kloeckera sp. 2201. Enzyme profiles in cell-free extracts of the two organisms grown under glucose limitation at various dilution rates, suggested that the synthesis of these enzymes is controlled by derepression — represion rather than by induction — repression. Except for alcohol oxidase, the extent to which catabolite repression of the catabolic enzymes was relieved at low dilution rates was similar in both organisms. In Hansenula polymorpha the level of alcohol oxidase in the cells gradually increased with decreasing dilution rate, whilst in Kloeckera sp. 2201 derepression of alcohol oxidase synthesis was only observed at dilution rates below 0.10 h−1 and occurred to a much smaller extent than in Hansenula polymorpha.

Derepression of alcohol oxidase and catalase in cells of Hansenula polymorpha was accompanied by synthesis of peroxisomes. Moreover, peroxisomes were degraded with a concurrent loss of alcohol oxidase and catalase activities when excess glucose was introduced into the culture. This process of catabolite inactivation of peroxisomal enzymes did not affect cytoplasmic formaldehyde dehydrogenase.

Key words

Derepression Catabolite inactivation Alcohol oxidase Catalase Formaldehyde dehydrogenase Formate dehydrogenase Hansenula polymorpha Kloeckera sp. 2201 Peroxisomes