The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe does not grow in media containing glycerol as a sole carbon source but uses glycerol in the presence of ethanol. Ethanol, but not glycerol, triggered upregulation of gld1 + and fbp1 + during glucose starvation even though gld1 + and fbp1 + are essential for growth on glycerol. This upregulation occurred at a very low concentration of ethanol. The transcriptional regulation of gld1 + was tested in the presence of various alcohols, and both ethanol and 1-propanol were found to induce gld1 + and to support growth in glycerol-containing media. We suggest that S. pombe has a novel ethanol and/or 1-propanol recognition mechanism that upregulates glycerol utilization during glucose starvation.
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