The synthesis of the two S-adenosyl-methionine synthetases is differently regulated in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
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- Thomas, D. & Surdin-Kerjan, Y. Mol Gen Genet (1991) 226: 224. doi:10.1007/BF00273607
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S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) is synthesized by transfer of the adenosyl moiety of ATP to the sulfur atom of methionine. This reaction is catalysed by AdoMet synthetase. In all eukaryotic organisms studied so far, multiple forms of AdoMet synthetases have been reported and from their recent study, it appears that AdoMet synthetase is an exceptionally well conserved enzyme through evolution. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we have demonstrated the existence of two AdoMet synthetases encoded by genes SAM1 and SAM2. Yeast, which is able to concentrate exogenously added AdoMet, is thus a particularly useful biological system to understand the role and the physiological significance of the preservation of two almost identical AdoMet synthetases. The analysis of the expression of the two SAM genes in different genetic backgrounds during growth under different conditions shows that the expression of SAM1 and SAM2 is regulated differently. The regulation of SAM1 expression is identical to that of other genes implicated in AdoMet metabolism, where as SAM2 shows a specific pattern of regulation. A careful analysis of the expression of the two genes and of the variations in the methionine and AdoMet intracellular pools during the growth of different strains lead us to postulate the existence of two different AdoMet pools, each one suppplied by a different AdoMet synthetase but in equilibrium with each other. This could be a means of storing AdoMet whenever this metabolite is overproduced, thus avoiding the degradation of a metabolite the synthesis of which is energetically expensive.