Trinucleotide insertions, deletions, and point mutations in glucose transporters confer K+ uptake in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Hong Liang, Christopher H. Ko, Todd Herman, Richard F. Gaber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Deletion of TRK1 and TRK2 abolishes high-affinity K+ uptake in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, resulting in the inability to grow on typical synthetic growth medium unless it is supplemented with very high concentrations of potassium. Selection for spontaneous suppressors that restored growth of trk1Δ trk2Δ cells on K+ -limiting medium led to the isolation of cells with unusual gain-of-function mutations in the glucose transporter genes HXT1 and HXT3 and the glucose/galactose transporter gene GAL2. 86Rb uptake assays demonstrated that the suppressor mutations conferred increased uptake of the ion. In addition to K+, the mutant hexose transporters also conferred permeation of other cations, including Na+. Because the selection strategy required such gain of function, mutations that disrupted transporter maturation or localization to the plasma membrane were avoided. Thus, the importance of specific sites in glucose transport could be independently assessed by testing for the ability of the mutant transporter to restore glucose-dependent growth to cells containing null alleles of all of the known functional glucose transporter genes. Twelve sites, most of which are conserved among eukaryotic hexose transporters, were revealed to be essential for glucose transport. Four of these have previously been shown to be essential for glucose transport by animal or plant transporters. Eight represented sites not previously known to be crucial for glucose uptake. Each suppressor mutant harbored a single mutation that altered an amino acid(s) within or immediately adjacent to a putative transmembrane domain of the transporter. Seven of 38 independent suppressor mutations consisted of in- frame insertions or deletions. The nature of the insertions and deletions revealed a striking DNA template dependency: each insertion generated a trinucleotide repeat, and each deletion involved the removal of a repeated nucleotide sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)926-935
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Trinucleotide insertions, deletions, and point mutations in glucose transporters confer K+ uptake in Saccharomyces cerevisiae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this