Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

Winter 3-2016


Molecular Biology of the Cell





Inclusive Pages





Methylglyoxal, glycolysis, yeast


Methylglyoxal (MG) is a cytotoxic by-product of glycolysis. MG has inhibitory effect on the growth of cells ranging from microorganisms to higher eukaryotes, but its molecular targets are largely unknown. The yeast cell-surface glucose sensors Rgt2 and Snf3 function as glucose receptors that sense extracellular glucose and generate a signal for induction of expression of genes encoding glucose transporters (HXTs). Here we provide evidence that these glucose sensors are primary targets of MG in yeast. MG inhibits the growth of glucose-fermenting yeast cells by inducing endocytosis and degradation of the glucose sensors. However, the glucose sensors with mutations at their putative ubiquitin-acceptor lysine residues are resistant to MG-induced degradation. These results suggest that the glucose sensors are inactivated through ubiquitin-mediated endocytosis and degraded in the presence of MG. In addition, the inhibitory effect of MG on the glucose sensors is greatly enhanced in cells lacking Glo1, a key component of the MG detoxification system. Thus the stability of these glucose sensors seems to be critically regulated by intracellular MG levels. Taken together, these findings suggest that MG attenuates glycolysis by promoting degradation of the cell-surface glucose sensors and thus identify MG as a potential glycolytic inhibitor.


Reproduced with permission of the American Society for Microbiology. Molecular Biology of the Cell

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Peer Reviewed


Open Access




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