The budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, accumulates the storage polysaccharide glycogen in response to nutrient limitation. Glycogen synthase, the major form of which is encoded by the GSY2 gene, catalyzes the key regulated step in glycogen storage. Here, we utilized Gsy2p fusions to green fluorescent protein (GFP) to determine where glycogen synthase was located within cells. We demonstrated that the localization pattern of Gsy2-GFP depended upon the glycogen content of the cell. When glycogen was abundant, Gsy2-GFP was found uniformly throughout the cytoplasm, but under low glycogen conditions, Gsy2-GFP localized to discrete spots within cells. Gsy2p is known to bind to glycogen, and we propose that the subcellular distribution of Gsy2-GFP reflects the distribution of glycogen particles. In the absence of glycogen, Gsy2p translocates into the nucleus. We hypothesize that Gsy2p is normally retained in the cytoplasm through its interaction with glycogen particles. When glycogen levels are reduced, Gsy2p loses this anchor and can traffic into the nucleus.
- Glycogen synthase
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Biology