Growth on glycerol has already been a topic of research for several yeast species, and recent publications deal with the regulatory mechanisms of glycerol assimilation by the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We investigated glycerol metabolism of S. pombe from a physiological point of view, characterizing growth and metabolism on a mixture of glycerol and acetate and comparing it to growth on glucose under respirative growth conditions in chemostat experiments. On glycerol/acetate mixtures, the cells grew with a maximum specific growth rate of 0.11 h-1 where 46 % of the carbon was channeled into biomass and the key fermentation product ethanol was not detectable. 13C-assisted metabolic flux analysis resolved substrate distributions through central carbon metabolism, proving that glycerol is used as a precursor for glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, and the pentose phosphate pathway, while acetate enters the tricarboxylic acid cycle via acetyl-CoA. Considering compartmentalization between cytosol and mitochondria in the metabolic model, we found compartmentalization of biosynthesis for the amino acids aspartate and leucine. Balancing of redox cofactors revealed an abundant production of cytosolic NADPH that must be finally regenerated via the respiratory chain shown by the simulated and measured CO2 production and oxygen consumption rates which were in good agreement.
- Schizosaccharomyces pombe
- [C-13] metabolic flux analysis
- Redox balancing