Dynamic regulation of yeast glycolytic oscillations by mitochondrial functions

M. A. Aon, S. Cortassa, H. V. Westerhoff, J. A. Berden, E. Van Spronsen, K. Van Dam

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44 Scopus citations


The control exerted in vivo by mitochondrial functions on the dynamics of glycolysis was investigated in starved yeast cells that were metabolizing glucose semianaerobically. Glycolytic oscillations were triggered after a pulse of glucose by inhibition of mitochondrial respiration with KCN, myxothiazol and antimycin A or in mutants in the bcl complex (ubiquinol:cytochrome c reductase) that were largely deficient in respiratory capacity. Inhibition of the adenine nucleotide translocator by preincubation with bongkrekic acid also triggered a train of damped sinusoidal oscillations after glucose addition. The oscillations consisted of cycles of reduction and oxidation of the intracellular pool of nicotinamide nucleotides with periods of 45 s to 1 min and amplitudes of 0.8 mM or lower. Preincubation with the uncoupler carbonyl cyamide p-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone (FCCP) annihilated cyanide-induced oscillations of NAD(P)H. Evidence for de-energization of mitochondrial membranes in vivo was obtained by mitochondrial staining with dimethylaminostyryl-methylpyridiniumiodine (DASPMI) of starved cells. The low rates of NADH reoxidation shown by respiratory mutants and the FCCP-treated X2180 strain open up the possibility that mitochondrial dehydrogenases also control glycolytic oscillations. Low rates of cytosolic NADH reoxidation induced by pyrazole, an inhibitor of alcohol dehydrogenase, were also associated with the disappearance of glycolytic oscillations. From experimental evidence and model calculations we conclude that the modulation of the levels of cytosolic ATP by mitochondrial functions in turn modulates the approach of the dynamic behavior of glycolysis to an oscillatory domain. The mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase and the glycolytic steps associated with NADH reoxidation downstream from pyruvate appear to provide another control level of glycolysis dynamics in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-334
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 3 1991


  • bifurcations
  • glycolysis
  • mitochondrial function
  • oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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