, Volume 5, Issue 1-2, pp 69-85
Date: 03 Jun 2011

Dynamic analysis of the KlGAL regulatory system in Kluyveromyces lactis: a comparative study with Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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The GAL regulatory system is highly conserved in yeast species of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces lactis. While the GAL system is a well studied system in S. cerevisiae, the dynamic behavior of the KlGAL system in K. lactis has not been characterized. Here, we have characterized the GAL system in yeast K. lactis by developing a dynamic model and comparing its performance to its not-so-distant cousin S. cerevisiae. The present analysis demonstrates the significance of the autoregulatory feedbacks due to KlGal4p, KlGal80p, KlGal1p and Lac12p on the dynamic performance of the KlGAL switch. The model predicts the experimentally observed absence of bistability in the wild type strain of K. lactis, unlike the short term memory of preculturing conditions observed in S. cerevisiae. The performance of the GAL switch is distinct for the two yeast species although they share similarities in the molecular components. The analysis suggests that the whole genome duplication of S. cerevisiae, which resulted in a dedicated inducer protein, Gal3p, may be responsible for the high sensitivity of the system to galactose concentrations. On the other hand, K. lactis uses a bifunctional protein as an inducer in addition to its galactokinase activity, which restricts its regulatory role and hence higher galactose levels in the medium are needed to trigger the GAL system.