The TPS1 gene, encoding trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS), exerts an essential control on the influx of glucose into glycolysis in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The deletion of TPS1 causes an inability to grow on glucose because of a hyperaccumulation of sugar phosphates and depletion of ATP and phosphate. We show that expression of the Escherichia coli homologue, otsA, in a yeast tps1 mutant results in high TPS activity. Although the trehalose 6-phosphate (Tre6P) level during exponential growth on glucose was at least as high as in a wild-type yeast strain, growth on glucose was only partly restored and the lag phase was much longer. Measurement of the glycolytic metabolites immediately after the addition of glucose showed that in spite of a normal Tre6P accumulation there was still a partial hyperaccumulation of sugar phosphates. Strong elevation of the Tre6P level by the additional deletion of the TPS2 gene, which encodes Tre6P phosphatase, was not able to cause a strong decrease in the sugar phosphate levels in comparison with the wild-type strain. In addition, in chemostat experiments the short-term response to a glucose pulse was delayed, but normal metabolism was regained over a longer period. These results show that Tre6P synthesis from a heterologous TPS enzyme can to some extent restore the control of glucose influx into glycolysis and growth on glucose in yeast. However, they also indicate that the yeast TPS enzyme, as opposed to the E. coli otsA gene product, is able to increase the efficiency of the Tre6P control on glucose influx into yeast glycolysis.

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