Summary: Addition of glucose to acetate-grown cells of caused a rapid transient increase in the cAMP level followed by a 10-fold, transient increase in the activity of trehalase. Exhibition bromide and acridine analogues inhibited both glucose-induced responses in a similar way, confirming the role of the cAMP signal as the second messenger in the sugar-induced activation of trehalase. When nitrogen sources or protein synthesis inhibitors were added after the transient glucose-induced increase in the trehalase activity, a rapid reactivation of trehalase occurred. In this case, however, there was only a very small increase in the cAMP level, which appeared to be insignificant. When the nitrogen source or the protein synthesis inhibitor was added together with glucose, the trehalase activity remained high for a much longer time also without a significant effect on the cAMP level. When a membrane depolarizing agent was added together with the glucose, both the trehalase activity and the cAMP level remained high. Reversibility experiments in which trehalase was activated to different degrees also showed that for high sugar-induced trehalase activation a high cAMP level is needed, while nitrogen sources stimulate trehalase activity without affecting cAMP levels. In cell extracts, both cAMP and cGMP were able to activate trehalase, the latter however only at 10-fold higher concentrations. The cGMP level was about 10-fold lower than the cAMP level and was not significantly affected by nitrogen sources or protein synthesis inhibitors. Hence, neither cAMP nor cGMP seem to be involved as the second messenger in the stimulating effect of nitrogen sources and protein synthesis inhibitors on trehalase activity in yeast. Since all other evidence obtained here and before strongly points to regulation of trehalase by a ‘cAMP-dependent’ protein kinase, we suggest that the presence of a nitrogen source in the growth medium of yeast induces the rapid synthesis of an alternative second messenger able to activate this or another protein kinase.


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