Glucose signaling in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

George M. Santangelo


Eukaryotic cells possess an exquisitely interwoven and fine-tuned series of signal transduction mechanisms with which to sense and respond to the ubiquitous fermentable carbon source glucose. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has proven to be a fertile model system with which to identify glucose signaling factors, determine the relevant functional and physical interrelationships, and characterize the corresponding metabolic, transcriptomic, and proteomic readouts. The early events in glucose signaling appear to require both extracellular sensing by transmembrane proteins and intracellular sensing by G proteins. Intermediate steps involve cAMP-dependent stimulation of protein kinase A (PKA) as well as one or more redundant PKA-independent pathways. The final steps are mediated by a relatively small collection of transcriptional regulators that collaborate closely to maximize the cellular rates of energy generation and growth. Understanding the nuclear events in this process may necessitate the further elaboration of a new model for eukaryotic gene regulation, called "reverse recruitment. "An essential feature of this idea is that fine-structure mapping of nuclear architecture will be required to understand the reception of regulatory signals that emanate from the plasma membrane and cytoplasm. Completion of this task should result in a much improved understanding of eukaryotic growth, differentiation, and carcinogenesis.