Pyruvate and acetyl-coenzyme A, located at the interface between glycolysis and TCA cycle, are important intermediates in yeast metabolism and key precursors for industrially relevant products. Rational engineering of their supply requires knowledge of compensatory reactions that replace predominant pathways when these are inactivated. This study investigates effects of individual and combined mutations that inactivate the mitochondrial pyruvate-dehydrogenase (PDH) complex, extramitochondrial citrate synthase (Cit2) and mitochondrial CoA-transferase (Ach1) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Additionally, strains with a constitutively expressed carnitine shuttle were constructed and analyzed. A predominant role of the PDH complex in linking glycolysis and TCA cycle in glucose-grown batch cultures could be functionally replaced by the combined activity of the cytosolic PDH bypass and Cit2. Strongly impaired growth and a high incidence of respiratory deficiency in pda1Δ ach1Δ strains showed that synthesis of intramitochondrial acetyl-CoA as a metabolic precursor requires activity of either the PDH complex or Ach1. Constitutive overexpression of AGP2, HNM1, YAT2, YAT1, CRC1 and CAT2 enabled the carnitine shuttle to efficiently link glycolysis and TCA cycle in l-carnitine-supplemented, glucose-grown batch cultures. Strains in which all known reactions at the glycolysis-TCA cycle interface were inactivated still grew slowly on glucose, indicating additional flexibility at this key metabolic junction.
- PDH complex
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- carnitine shuttle
- glycolysis-TCA cycle interface