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J Bacteriol. 1978 June; 134(3): 844–853.
PMCID: PMC222331

Glycogenolytic enzymes in sporulating yeast.


During meiosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the polysaccharide glycogen is first synthesized and then degraded during the period of spore maturation. We have detected, in sporulating yeast strains, an enzyme activity which is responsible for the glycogen catabolism. The activity was absent in vegetative cells, appeared coincidently with the beginning of glycogenolysis and the appearance of mature ascospores, and increased progressively until spourlation was complete. The specific activity of glycogenolytic enzymes in the intact ascus was about threefold higher than in isolated spores. The glycogenolysis was not due to combinations of phosphorylase plus phosphatase or amylase plus maltase. Nonsporulating cells exhibited litle or no glycogen catabolism and contained only traces of glycogenolytic enzyme, suggesting that the activity is sporulation specific. The partially purified enzyme preparation degraded amylose and glycogen, releasing glucose as the only low-molecular-weight product. Maltotriose was rapidly hydrolyzed; maltose was less susceptible. Alpha-methyl-D-glucoside, isomaltose, and linear alpha-1,6-linked dextran were not attacked. However, the enzyme hydrolyzed alpha-1,6-glucosyl-Schardinger dextrin and increased the beta-amylolysis of beta-amylase-limit dextrin. Thus, the preparation contains alpha-1,4- and alpha-1,6-glucosidase activities. Sephadex G-150 chromatography partially resolved the enzyme into two activities, one of which may be a glucamylase and the other a debranching enzyme.

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