Time-structure of the yeast metabolism in vivo

Kalesh Sasidharan, Masaru Tomita, Miguel Aon, David Lloyd, Douglas B. Murray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

19 Citations (Scopus)


All previous studies on the yeast metabolome have yielded a plethora of information on the components, function and organisation of low molecular mass and macromolecular components involved in the cellular metabolic network. Here we emphasise that an understanding of the global dynamics of the metabolome in vivo requires elucidation of the temporal dynamics of metabolic processes on many time-scales. We illustrate this using the 40 min oscillation in respiratory activity displayed in auto-synchronous continuously grown cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where respiration cycles between a phase of increased respiration (oxidative phase) and decreased respiration (reductive phase). Thereby an ultradian clock, i.e. a timekeeping device that runs through many cycles during one day, is involved in the co-ordination of the vast majority of events and processes in yeast. Through continuous online measurements, we first show that mitochondrial and redox physiology are intertwined to produce the temporal landscape on which cellular events occur. Next we look at the higher order processes of DNA duplication and mitochondrial structure to reveal that both events are choreographed during the respiratory cycles. Furthermore, spectral analysis using the discrete Fourier transformation of high-resolution (10 Hz) time-series of NAD(P)H confirms the existence of higher frequency components of biological origin and that these follow a scale-free architecture even in stable oscillating modes. A different signal-processing approach using discrete wavelet transformations (DWT) indicates that there is a significant contribution to the overall signal from ∼5, ∼10 and ∼20-minutes cycles and the amplitudes of these cycles are phase-dependent. Further investigation (derivative of Gaussian continuous wavelet transformation) reveals that the observed 20-minutes cycles are actually confined to the reductive phase and consist of two ∼15-minutes cycles. Moreover, the 5 and 10-minutes cycles are restricted to the oxidative phase of the cycle. The mitochondrial origin of these signals was confirmed by pulse-injection of the cytochrome c oxidase inhibitor H2S. We next discuss how these multi-oscillatory states can impinge on the apparently complex reactome (represented as a phase diagram of 1,650 chemical species that show oscillatory behaviour). We conclude that biological processes can be considerably more comprehensible when dynamic in vivo time-structure is taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Systems Biology
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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