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Similar temperature dependencies of glycolytic enzymes: an evolutionary adaptation to temperature dynamics?

Ana Luisa B Cruz12, Marit Hebly12, Giang-Huong Duong12, Sebastian A Wahl12, Jack T Pronk12, Joseph J Heijnen12, Pascale Daran-Lapujade12 and Walter M van Gulik12*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology and Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation, Julianalaan 67, Delft, 2628 BC, The Netherlands

2 Netherlands Consortium for Systems Biology, PO Box 94215, Amsterdam, 1090 GE, The Netherlands

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Citation and License

BMC Systems Biology 2012, 6:151  doi:10.1186/1752-0509-6-151

Published: 7 December 2012



Temperature strongly affects microbial growth, and many microorganisms have to deal with temperature fluctuations in their natural environment. To understand regulation strategies that underlie microbial temperature responses and adaptation, we studied glycolytic pathway kinetics in Saccharomyces cerevisiae during temperature changes.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae was grown under different temperature regimes and glucose availability conditions. These included glucose-excess batch cultures at different temperatures and glucose-limited chemostat cultures, subjected to fast linear temperature shifts and circadian sinoidal temperature cycles. An observed temperature-independent relation between intracellular levels of glycolytic metabolites and residual glucose concentration for all experimental conditions revealed that it is the substrate availability rather than temperature that determines intracellular metabolite profiles. This observation corresponded with predictions generated in silico with a kinetic model of yeast glycolysis, when the catalytic capacities of all glycolytic enzymes were set to share the same normalized temperature dependency.


From an evolutionary perspective, such similar temperature dependencies allow cells to adapt more rapidly to temperature changes, because they result in minimal perturbations of intracellular metabolite levels, thus circumventing the need for extensive modification of enzyme levels.

Glycolysis; Kinetic modelling; Metabolomics; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Temperature dynamics