UCL Division of Biosciences


New paper from Bähler lab shows that yeast breathes to supply amino acids for rapid growth

9 September 2020

Yeast cells normally grow using fermentation to generate energy, rather than respiration (similar to proliferating cancer cells). The authors show that fission yeast also needs respiration for fermentative growth to supply amino acids that are required for rapid proliferation.

Photo from Bahler lab EMBO paper on yeast respiration

Mitochondrial respiration is required for rapid fermentative proliferation of fission yeast cells by supplying amino‐acid derivatives of the Krebs‐cycle metabolite alpha‐ketoglutarate.

  • Inhibition of the respiratory chain reduces growth and intracellular amino‐acid concentrations, most notably arginine.
  • Arginine supplementation, and its catabolism into amino acids that are normally derived from alpha‐ketoglutarate, are sufficient to restore rapid growth.
  • Inhibition of the respiratory chain also triggers a gene‐expression response through TOR inhibition, and the regulated proteins show biased amino‐acid compositions reflecting their shortage in this condition.

Read the full article at: https://www.embopress.org/doi/10.15252/embr.202050845