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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of D-ribose as a cometabolite in D-xylose metabolism by Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

The influence of D-ribose as a cosubstrate on the uptake and metabolism of the non-growth substrate D-xylose by Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATCC 26602 was investigated. Xylose was taken up by means of low- and high-affinity glucose transport systems. In cells exposed for 2 days to a mixture of xylose and ribose, only the high-affinity system could be detected. Glucose strongly inhibited the transport of xylose by both systems. Starvation or exposure to either xylose or ribose resulted in inactivation of xylose transport, which did not occur in the presence of a mixture of ribose and xylose. A constitutive non-glucose-repressible NADPH2-dependent xylose reductase with a specific activity of ca. 5 mU/mg of protein that converted xylose to xylitol was present in a glucose-grown culture. No activity converting xylitol to xylulose or vice versa was found in crude extracts. Both xylose and ribose were converted to their corresponding polyols, xylitol and ribitol, as indicated by 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Furthermore, ethanol was detected, and this implied that pathways for the complete catabolism of xylose and ribose exist. However, the NADPH2 required for the conversion of xylose to xylitol is apparently not supplied by the pentose phosphate pathway since the ethanol produced from D-[1-13C]xylose was labelled only in the C-2 position. Acetic acid was produced from ribose and may assist in the conversion of xylose to xylitol by cycling NADPH2.[1]


  1. Role of D-ribose as a cometabolite in D-xylose metabolism by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. van Zyl, C., Prior, B.A., Kilian, S.G., Brandt, E.V. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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