In Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells exhibiting high-affinity glucose transport, the glucose consumption rate at extracellular concentrations above 10 mM was only half of the zero trans-influx rate. To determine if this regulation of glucose transport might be a consequence of intracellular free glucose we developed a new method to measure intracellular glucose concentrations in cells metabolizing glucose, which compares glucose stereoisomers to correct for adhering glucose. The intracellular glucose concentration was 1.5 mM, much higher than in most earlier reports. We show that for the simplest model of a glucose carrier, this concentration is sufficient to reduce the glucose influx by 50%. We conclude that intracellular glucose is the most likely candidate for the observed regulation of glucose import and hence glycolysis. We discuss the possibility that intracellular glucose functions as a primary signal molecule in these cells.
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