Glucose is the preferred carbon source for most eukaryotes and so it is important that cells can sense and react rapidly to fluctuations in glucose levels. It is becoming increasingly clear that the regulation of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level is important in the adaptation to changes in glucose levels, possibly as this could engender more rapid alterations in the concentrations of key proteins, such as metabolic enzymes. Following the removal of glucose from yeast cells a rapid inhibition of translation is observed. As a consequence, mRNPs (messenger ribonucleoproteins) relocalize into cytoplasmic granules known as P-bodies (processing bodies) and EGP-bodies. mRNA decay components localize into P-bodies, and thus these assemblies are likely to represent sites where mRNAs are targeted for degradation. In contrast, EGP-bodies lack any decay components and contain the eukaryotic translation initiation factors eIF4E, eIF4G and Pab1p, as well as other RNA-binding proteins. Therefore EGP-bodies probably constitute sites where mRNAs are earmarked for storage. So, it is possible that cells distinguish between transcripts and target them to either P-bodies or EGP-bodies depending on their functional value. The localization of mRNAs into these granules following glucose starvation may serve to preserve mRNAs that are involved in the diauxic shift to ethanol growth and entry into stationary phase, as well as to degrade mRNAs that are solely involved in glucose fermentation.

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