Transcriptional responses of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to preferred and nonpreferred nitrogen sources in glucose-limited chemostat cultures

Viktor M. Boer, Siew Leng Tai, Zeynep Vuralhan, Yalun Arifin, Michael C. Walsh, Matthew D W Piper, Johannes H. De Winde, Jack T. Pronk, Jean Marc Daran

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Aerobic, glucose-limited chemostat cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown with six different nitrogen sources were subjected to transcriptome analysis. The use of chemostats enabled an analysis of nitrogen-source-dependent transcriptional regulation at a fixed specific growth rate. A selection of preferred (ammonium and asparagine) and nonpreferred (leucine, phenylalanine, methionine and proline) nitrogen sources was investigated. For each nitrogen source, distinct sets of genes were induced or repressed relative to the other five nitrogen sources. In total, 131 such 'signature transcripts' were identified in this study. In addition to signature transcripts, genes were identified that showed a transcriptional coresponse to two or more of the six nitrogen sources. For example, 33 genes were transcriptionally upregulated in leucine-grown, phenylalanine-grown and methionine-grown cultures; this was partly attributed to the involvement of common enzymes in the dissimilation of these amino acids. In addition to specific transcriptional responses elicited by individual nitrogen sources, their impact on global regulatory mechanisms such as nitrogen catabolite repression (NCR) were monitored. NCR-sensitive gene expression in the chemostat cultures showed that ammonium and asparagine were 'rich' nitrogen sources. By this criterion, leucine, proline and methionine were 'poor' nitrogen sources, and phenylalanine showed an 'intermediate' NCR response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-620
Number of pages17
JournalFEMS Yeast Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Amino acid
  • Chemostat
  • Nitrogen catabolite repression
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Transcriptome

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