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Regulation of protein synthesis in methylotrophic yeasts: Repression of methanol dissimilating enzymes by nitrogen limitation

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The influence of nitrogen limitation on the regulation of the methanol oxidizing enzymes alcohol oxidase, catalase, formaldehyde dehydrogenase and formate dehydrogenase in the two methylotrophic yeastsHansenula polymorpha andKloeckera sp. 2201 was studied in continuous culture. When shifted from carbon-limited growth conditions (with a mixture of glucose and methanol as carbon sources) to a nitrogen-limited environment both cultures were found to go through a transition phase where neither enhanced residual concentrations of the nitrogen source nor of one of the two carbon sources could be detected in the supernatant. As soon as nitrogen became a limiting substrate an immediate reorganisation of the cell composition was initiated: protein content of the cells dropped to approximately 40% of its initial value, glycogen was synthesized and the enzyme composition of the cells was changed. The peroxisomal enzymes alcohol oxidase and catalase in both organisms and the two dehydrogenases for formaldehyde and formate in cells ofKloeckera sp. 2201 were subject to degradation (catabolite inactivation). The measured rates of inactivation indicated that in cells ofH. polymorpha this process might be limited to peroxisomes, whereas inKloeckera sp. 2201 the degradation was found to affect peroxisomal as well as cytoplasmic enzymes. In contrast to methanol dissimilating enzymes the net rate of synthesis of hexokinase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase was not affected by this process but those enzymes were synthesized with increased rates.

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Egli, T. Regulation of protein synthesis in methylotrophic yeasts: Repression of methanol dissimilating enzymes by nitrogen limitation. Arch. Microbiol. 131, 95–101 (1982).

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Key words

  • Chemostat
  • Nitrogen limitation
  • Hansenula polymorpha
  • Kloeckera sp. 2201
  • Carbon limitation
  • Repression
  • Methanol dissimilating enzymes
  • Shift experiment
  • Catabolite inactivation