Aerobic glycolysis is a metabolic pathway utilized by human cancer cells and also by yeast cells when they ferment glucose to ethanol. Both cancer cells and yeast cells are inhibited by the presence of low concentrations of 2-deoxyglucose. Genetic screens in yeast used resistance to 2-deoxyglucose to identify a small set of genes that function in regulating glucose metabolism. A recent high throughput screen for 2-deoxyglucose resistance identified a much larger set of seemingly unrelated genes. Here, we demonstrate that these newly identified genes do not in fact confer significant resistance to 2-deoxyglucose. Further, we show that the relative toxicity of 2-deoxyglucose is carbon source dependent as is the resistance conferred by gene deletions. Snf1 kinase, the AMP-activated protein kinase of yeast, is required for 2-deoxyglucose resistance in cells growing on glucose. Mutations in the SNF1 gene that reduce kinase activity render cells hypersensitive to 2-deoxyglucose while an activating mutation in SNF1 confers 2-deoxyglucose resistance. Snf1 kinase activated by 2-deoxyglucose does not phosphorylate the Mig1 protein, a known Snf1 substrate during glucose limitation. Thus, different stimuli elicit distinct responses from the Snf1 kinase.
- Received June 23, 2014.
- Accepted August 11, 2014.
- Copyright © 2014, The Genetics Society of America