The glyoxylate shunt is essential for desiccation tolerance in C. elegans and budding yeast

  1. Cihan Erkut
  2. Vamshidhar R Gade
  3. Sunil Laxman
  4. Teymuras V Kurzchalia  Is a corresponding author
  1. European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Germany
  2. Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Germany
  3. Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, India

Abstract

Many organisms, including species from all kingdoms of life, can survive desiccation by entering a state with no detectable metabolism. To survive, C. elegans dauer larvae and stationary phase S. cerevisiae require elevated amounts of the disaccharide trehalose. We found that that dauer larvae and stationary phase yeast switched into a gluconeogenic mode in which metabolism was reoriented toward production of sugars from non-carbohydrate sources. This mode depended on full activity of the glyoxylate shunt (GS), which enables synthesis of trehalose from acetate. The GS was especially critical during preparation of worms for harsh desiccation (preconditioning) and during the entry of yeast into stationary phase. Loss of the GS dramatically decreased desiccation tolerance in both organisms. Our results reveal a novel physiological role for the GS and elucidate a conserved metabolic rewiring that confers desiccation tolerance on organisms as diverse as worm and yeast.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Cihan Erkut

    Structural and Computational Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Vamshidhar R Gade

    Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Sunil Laxman

    Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Bangalore, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Teymuras V Kurzchalia

    Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany
    For correspondence
    kurzchalia@mpi-cbg.de
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Daniel J Kliebenstein, University of California, Davis, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: December 7, 2015
  2. Accepted: April 18, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 19, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 25, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2016, Erkut et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Cihan Erkut
  2. Vamshidhar R Gade
  3. Sunil Laxman
  4. Teymuras V Kurzchalia
(2016)
The glyoxylate shunt is essential for desiccation tolerance in C. elegans and budding yeast
eLife 5:e13614.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13614

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