SUMMARY: The kinetic parameters of glucose transport in four Crabtree-positive and four Crabtree-negative yeasts were determined. The organisms were grown in aerobic glucose-limited chemostats at a dilution rate of 0·1 h. The results show a clear correlation between the presence of high-affinity glucose transport systems and the absence of aerobic fermentation upon addition of excess glucose to steady-state cultures. The presence of these H-symport systems could be established by determination of intracellular accumulation of 6-deoxy-[H]glucose and alkalinization of buffered cell suspensions upon addition of glucose. In contrast, the yeasts that did show aerobic alcoholic fermentation during these glucose pulse experiments had low-affinity facilitated-diffusion carriers only. In the yeasts examined the capacity of the glucose transport carriers was higher than the actual glucose consumption rates during the glucose pulse experiments. The relationship between the rate of sugar consumption and the rate of alcoholic fermentation was studied in detail with When was pulsed with low amounts of glucose or mannose, in order to obtain submaximal sugar consumption rates, fermentation was already occurring at sugar consumption rates just above those which were maintained in the glucose-limited steady-state culture. The results are interpreted in relation with the Crabtree effect. In Crabtree-positive yeasts, an increase in the external glucose concentration may lead to unrestricted glucose uptake by facilitated diffusion and hence, to aerobic fermentation. In contrast, Crabtree-negative yeasts may restrict the entry of glucose by their regulated H-symport systems and thus prevent the occurrence of overflow metabolism.


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