Regulation of copper metabolism by nitrogen utilization in saccharomyces cerevisiae

Suzie Kang, Hyewon Seo, Min Gyu Lee, Cheol Won Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To understand the relationship between carbon or nitrogen utilization and iron homeostasis, we performed an iron uptake assay with several deletion mutants with partial defects in carbon or nitrogen metabolism. Among them, some deletion mutants defective in carbon metabolism partially and the MEP2 deletion mutant showed lower iron uptake activity than the wild type. Mep2 is known as a high-affinity ammonia transporter in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Interestingly, we found that nitrogen starvation resulted in lower iron uptake activity than that of wild-type cells without downregulation of the genes involved in the high-affinity iron uptake system FET3/FTR1. However, the gene expression of FRE1 and CTR1 was downregulated by nitrogen starvation. The protein level of Ctr1 was also decreased by nitrogen starvation, and addition of copper to the nitrogen starvation medium partially restored iron uptake activity. However, the expression of MAC1, which is a copper-responsive transcriptional activator, was not downregulated by nitrogen starvation at the transcriptional level but was highly downregulated at the translational level. Mac1 was downregulated dramatically under nitrogen starvation, and treatment with MG132, which is an inhibitor of proteasome-dependent protein degradation, partially attenuated the downregulation of Mac1. Taken together, these results suggest that nitrogen starvation downregulates the high-affinity iron uptake system by degrading Mac1 in a proteasome-dependent manner and eventually downregulates copper metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number756
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept


  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Mac1
  • Nitrogen
  • S. cerevisiae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science
  • Microbiology (medical)


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