Phenylalanine Degradation (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)

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While Saccharomyces cerevisiae can use most amino acids as their sole nitrogen source, they can only use a few amino acids as a carbon source to support growth (CITS:[Large86][Cooper82]). This is in contrast to most eukaryotes and some fungi, which can metabolize amino acids completely, utilizing them as sole sources of carbon and nitrogen (CITS:[Stryer88][Large 86]). S. cerevisiae degrade the aromatic amino acids (phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan) and the branched-chain amino acids (valine, leucine, and iso-leucine) via the Ehrlich pathway (CITS:[Sentheshanmuganathan60][10989420]). This pathway is comprised of the following steps: 1) deamination of the amino acid to the corresponding alpha-keto acid; 2) decarboxylation of the resulting alpha-keto acid to the respective aldehyde; and, 3) reduction of the aldehyde to form the corresponding long chain or complex alcohol, known as a fusel alcohol or fusel oil (CITS:[10989420][Large 86]). Fusel alcohols are important flavor and aroma compounds in yeast-fermented food products and beverages (as reported in (CITS:[9546164]). Aro10p appears to be the primary decarboxylase catalyzing the second step in phenylalanine degradation (CITS:[12902239][15933030]). Although Vulrahan et. al. (2003) (CITS:[12902239]) found that THI3 does not encode an active phenylpyruvate decarboxylase, they found Thi3p was required in conjunction with one of the pyruvate decarboxylases Pdc1p, Pdc5p or Pdc6p for the ARO10-independent decarboxylase activity. The main uptake systems for utilizing aromatic amino acids appear to be Gap1p, a general amino acid permease, and Wap1p, an inducible amino acid permease with wide substrate specificity (CITS:[10207060]) SOURCE: SGD pathways,


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  1. Vuralhan Z, Morais MA, Tai SL, Piper MD, Pronk JT; ''Identification and characterization of phenylpyruvate decarboxylase genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.''; Appl Environ Microbiol, 2003 PubMed Europe PMC
  2. Urrestarazu A, Vissers S, Iraqui I, Grenson M; ''Phenylalanine- and tyrosine-auxotrophic mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae impaired in transamination.''; Mol Gen Genet, 1998 PubMed Europe PMC
  3. Vuralhan Z, Luttik MA, Tai SL, Boer VM, Morais MA, Schipper D, Almering MJ, K├Âtter P, Dickinson JR, Daran JM, Pronk JT; ''Physiological characterization of the ARO10-dependent, broad-substrate-specificity 2-oxo acid decarboxylase activity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.''; Appl Environ Microbiol, 2005 PubMed Europe PMC
  4. Iraqui I, Vissers S, Cartiaux M, Urrestarazu A; ''Characterisation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ARO8 and ARO9 genes encoding aromatic aminotransferases I and II reveals a new aminotransferase subfamily.''; Mol Gen Genet, 1998 PubMed Europe PMC
  5. Dickinson JR, Salgado LE, Hewlins MJ; ''The catabolism of amino acids to long chain and complex alcohols in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.''; J Biol Chem, 2003 PubMed Europe PMC


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74213view10:15, 6 April 2014EgonwFixed a character encoding issue.
74212view10:14, 6 April 2014EgonwConnected the dots.
73237view21:53, 12 January 2014EgonwAdded a few metabolite identifiers.
71013view19:27, 22 September 2013EgonwMore Labels converted into DataNodes.
70267view21:48, 15 July 2013MaintBotupdated to 2013 schema
70043view05:53, 12 July 2013EgonwMarked a few DataNodes with CAS registry numbers as metabolites.
67592view11:30, 26 June 2013DdiglesOntology Term : 'phenylalanine degradation pathway' added !
41848view04:50, 2 March 2011MaintBotRemoved redundant pathway information and comments
36647view22:38, 9 April 2010MaintBotDescription and bibliography added from SGD
21886view11:32, 14 November 2008MaintBot[[Pathway:Saccharomyces cerevisiae:Phenylalanine Degradation]] moved to [[Pathway:WP573]]: Moved to stable identifier
12812view08:03, 17 May 2008MaintBotautomated metabolite conversion
8876view14:11, 7 January 2008MaintBotAdded to category $category
8874view14:11, 7 January 2008M.BraymerUploaded new pathway

External references


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NameTypeDatabase referenceComment
2-oxoglutarateMetabolite144236 (Chemspider)
ADH1GeneProductS000005446 (SGD)
ADH2GeneProductS000004918 (SGD)
ADH3GeneProductS000004688 (SGD)
ADH4GeneProductS000003225 (SGD)
ADH5GeneProductS000000349 (SGD)
ARO10GeneProductS000002788 (SGD)
ARO9GeneProductS000001179 (SGD)
H2OMetabolite937 (Chemspider)
L-glutamateMetabolite56-86-0 (CAS)
L-phenylalanineMetabolite63-91-2 (CAS)
PDC1GeneProductS000004034 (SGD)
PDC5GeneProductS000004124 (SGD)
PDC6GeneProductS000003319 (SGD)
SFA1GeneProductS000002327 (SGD)
phenylacetaldehydeMetabolite122-78-1 (CAS)
phenylethanolMetabolite5830 (Chemspider)
phenylpyruvateMetabolite3784710 (Chemspider)

Annotated Interactions

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