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Mara, P.; Fragiadakis, G. S.; Gkountromichos, F.; Alexandraki, D. (2018): The pleiotropic effects of the glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In: Microbial Cell Factories 17:170
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Abstract

Ammonium assimilation is linked to fundamental cellular processes that include the synthesis of non-essential amino acids like glutamate and glutamine. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae glutamate can be synthesized from alpha-ketoglutarate and ammonium through the action of NADP-dependent glutamate dehydrogenases Gdh1 and Gdh3. Gdh1 and Gdh3 are evolutionarily adapted isoforms and cover the anabolic role of the GDH-pathway. Here, we review the role and function of the GDH pathway in glutamate metabolism and we discuss the additional contributions of the pathway in chromatin regulation, nitrogen catabolite repression, ROS-mediated apoptosis, iron deficiency and sphingolipid-dependent actin cytoskeleton modulation in S. cerevisiae. The pleiotropic effects of GDH pathway in yeast biology highlight the importance of glutamate homeostasis in vital cellular processes and reveal new features for conserved enzymes that were primarily characterized for their metabolic capacity. These newly described features constitute insights that can be utilized for challenges regarding genetic engineering of glutamate homeostasis and maintenance of redox balances, biosynthesis of important metabolites and production of organic substrates. We also conclude that the discussed pleiotropic features intersect with basic metabolism and set a new background for further glutamate-dependent applied research of biotechnological interest.