The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has the ability to cope with a variety of stress conditions (e.g. zinc deficiency) by regulating the expression of enzyme activities including those involved with phospholipid synthesis. Zinc is an essential mineral required for the growth and metabolism of S. cerevisiae. Depletion of zinc from the growth medium of wild-type cells results in alterations in phospholipid composition including an increase in PI (phosphatidylinositol) and a decrease in phosphatidylethanolamine. These changes can be attributed to an increase in PIS1-encoded PI synthase activity and a decrease in the activities of several CDP-diacylglycerol pathway enzymes including the CHO1-encoded PS (phosphatidylserine) synthase. The reduction in PS synthase in response to zinc depletion is due to a repression mechanism that involves the UASINO (inositol upstream activating sequence) element in the CHO1 promoter and the negative transcription factor Opi1p. These factors are also responsible for the inositol-mediated repression of CHO1. This regulation may play an important role in allowing cells to adapt to zinc deficiency given the essential roles that phospholipids play in the structure and function of cellular membranes.

You do not currently have access to this content.